On day three of the government shutdown, the Senate reached a deal to reopen the government, the House concurred on the short-term spending bill and President Trump signed, leaving Democrats pretty much empty-handed.
President Trump signed the spending bill Monday evening. The government is effectively re-opened, at least for the time being. The now signed spending bill was for a shorter extension than the original bill that failed on Friday night during the Senate Democrats’ fillibuster.
The spending bill funds the government until Feb. 8th rather than until the 16th as in the original bill. However, other than the shorter term, the bill is essentially unchanged. It still included the 6 year funding appropriation for SCHIP, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
The funding bill does NOT include any provisions for DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status. Both parties claim bipartisan progress was made toward DACA legislation. Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell announced his intention to bring immigration/DACA legislation to the floor for an up or down vote in the next few weeks.
In short, Senate Democrats filibustered and shut down the government and achieved nothing. They got the same deal that was on the table before the shutdown with a shorter amount of time to draft aggreeable legislation.
There was talk of a renewed commitment to a budget and passing appropriations in the proper manner. To get past the recent trend of continuing resolutions and omnibus bills. A position that the Republican Freedom Caucus will embrace. However, thus far it is just talk with no binding resolution.
By all measures, there is little doubt that this shutdown will be chalked up as a win for Republicans and President Trump. Not only did Senate Democrats fail to make any significant gains, but the Democrat Party took a hit in the polls as well.
Democrats had enjoyed a double-digit lead over Republicans in “generic ballot” polls. It was looking like Democrats had a distinct advantage heading toward midterm elections. What was once an 11-15 point advantage in the generic ballot has now dropped to less than 8 points in the latest Real Clear Politics average.
We have witnessed what appears to a dramatic role reversal between the parties. Republicans, who have traditionally caught the blame for shutdowns, seem to have won this one. Whereas, Democrats appear to be headed down a path usually taken by Republicans.
Despite the history of minority parties gaining seats in the midterms, Democrats appear to be poised to snatch DEFEAT from the jaws of victory. A self-destructive behavior usually seen in Republican history.
With the government back open and a plate full of work for legislators to do, we look forward to the upcoming State of the Union address. The economy is booming, stock market skyrocketing, tax cuts working, unemployment down and now President Trump has a presumptive shutdown win to add to the list.
North and South Korea are talking and planning to march together into the Olympics. US/Israeli relations are better than they have been in years. ISIS/ISIL is largely defeated and scattered.
President Trump, and the United States in general, have a lot of good news to report. Given President Trump’s personality and flair, this State of the Union promises to be an interesting and entertaining one, to say the least.
Depending on how well Republican and Democrat lawmakers are able to work together, the state of the union could change dramatically shortly after the President’s address. For better or worse remains to be seen. Although midterm hopes for Democrats can scarcely afford any more bad news.