Senate Breaks Shutdown Logjam and Advances Three-Week CR

Chamber votes 81-18 to end debate on short-term stopgap measure

Hill staffers and others wait in a long line to enter the Dirksen Building on Monday. Only certain doors to office buildings were open while Congress worked to end the government shutdown. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate on Monday cleared a key procedural hurdle to advance a three-week stopgap funding measure, signaling a likely end to the three-day government shutdown.

The chamber voted 81-18 to end debate on the short-term continuing resolution.

“After several discussions, offers, counteroffers, the Republican leader and I have come to an arrangement,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said on the floor Monday before the vote.

He said the agreement to reopen government is contingent on the Senate proceeding “immediately” to immigration legislation if a deal to address the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program isn’t struck by the expiration of the next stopgap on Feb. 8.

Watch: Schumer Warns GOP Has 17 Days to Reach Deal on DACA

The breakthrough came after days of bipartisan negotiations among rank-and-file members. It ultimately ended in a vague commitment from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take up the immigration debate on the chamber floor only if the government stays open past Feb. 8.

Democrats had demanded the Kentucky Republican commit to moving DACA legislation in the coming weeks.

“It would be my intention to take up legislation here in the Senate that would address DACA, border security, and related issues, as well as disaster relief, defense funding, healthcare and other important matters,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

Watch: McConnell Opens Senate With Pitch for Passing Feb. 8 CR

Several Democrats said that while they wished for a stronger commitment, it was ultimately enough to win their votes. 

House Republican leaders have said the chamber will take up and pass the CR once the Senate advances it.

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