Left says Dems caved on shutdown
Progressives are hammering Sen. Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) for his agreement with Senate Republican leadership to end the government shutdown on Monday.
Even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has spoken out against the deal, saying there was no reason to support it.
“I don’t see that there’s any reason — I’m speaking personally and hearing from my members — to support what was put forth,” Pelosi said at a press briefing shortly before Schumer signaled Senate Democrats would agree to it.
Activists took a harsher tone.
“It’s official: Chuck Schumer is the worst negotiator in Washington – even worse than Trump,” said Murshed Zaheed, political director at Credo, a progressive advocacy group.
“Any plan to protect Dreamers that relies on the word of serial liars like [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell [R-Ky.], [House Speaker] Paul Ryan [R-Wis.] or [President] Donald Trump is doomed to fail,” Zaheed added.
Schumer and McConnell brokered a deal to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government until Feb. 8 in exchange for a compromise from Senate Republican leadership to hold a vote on DACA-replacement legislation by that date.
Activists were incensed at the deal, as it includes no guarantees that a bill will pass — nor does it tie an immigration bill to a must-pass measure to give Democrats leverage.
The agreement also includes no guarantees that a potential Senate agreement on DACA could see a vote in the House.
“Today’s cave by Senate Democrats — led by weak-kneed, right-of-center Democrats — is why people don’t believe the Democratic Party stands for anything,” said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “These weak Democrats hurt the party brand for everyone and make it harder to elect Democrats everywhere in 2018.”
Schumer faced pressure to reach a deal from members of his caucus worried that the shutdown would hurt the party. Five Democrats had voted in favor of a House bill to keep the government open for a month.
Before the vote Monday, a slew of progressive activists held a call, pushing Democrats to demand a DACA deal in exchange for reopening the government.
“We’ve seen a number of promises from McConnell to his party members on [the Affordable Care Act] and the Dream Act,” said Greisa Martinez, advocacy and policy director at United We Dream.
“Promises are not results, promises are not protections,” she added, referring to so-far-unfulfilled commitments on immigration and health care made by McConnell to Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), in exchange for their votes on tax reform.
Democratic Senators with 2020 presidential aspirations also came out against the agreement.
“The Majority Leader’s comments last night fell far short of the ironclad guarantee I needed to support a stopgap spending bill,” said Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) “I refuse to put the lives of nearly 700,000 young people in the hands of someone who has repeatedly gone back on his word. I will do everything in my power to continue to protect Dreamers from deportation.”
Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) all voted against closing debate on the agreement.