Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer waved the white flag Monday, paving the way for an end to the three-day government shutdown many have named after the New York Democrat — and prompting liberal fury and conservatives’ mockery.
Democratic lawmakers initially refused Friday to support a continuing resolution to fund the government — unless the measure included amnesty for an estimated 800,000 individuals who qualified under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to remain in the U.S. with the parents who brought them here illegally.
But that changed on Monday as Schumer conceded, saying he would allow a vote without the DACA amnesty provision included. Republican leaders agreed, in return, to hold a Senate vote on an amnesty bill in February.
Schumer’s decision to fold did not sit well with the Democratic Party’s progressive base.
"It's Sen. Schumer's job to keep his caucus together and fight for progressive values. He failed in that today," Ezra Levin, co-director of the progressive group Indivisible, said in a statement. "This deal was morally reprehensible and political malpractice."
Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said in a statement that "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."
Murshed Zaheed, the progressive CREDO Action's political director, said in a statement that Schumer proved himself to be "the worst negotiator in Washington." Zaheed said that "in getting outmaneuvered by Sen. [Mitch] McConnell today, Chuck Schumer has failed dreamers and let the entire Democratic Party down."
"Shame on every single Democrat who said they would not do this, but caved and did it anyway," liberal activist and columnist Shaun King tweeted.
Conservatives also jumped into the fray to mock Schumer for caving after three days of grandstanding.
"This shutdown was an entirely avoidable situation forced on the American people by the Democrat Party's unreasonable demands," Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.
"It's clear the Democrats' decision to shut down the government backfired, and now they owe the American people an explanation for why they put the country through this fiasco," she said.
Fox News political analyst Brit Hume tweeted, "I doubted it was possible, but Dems have actually lost a shutdown fight. Schumer has agreed to end the filibuster in exchange for practically nothing. Make no mistake: Schumer & Dems caved. What a political fiasco."
"Shutdown Schumer caved — military paychecks saved; @POTUS holds — Schumer folds. Lessons learned — Schumer burned; Build the wall — or lose it all," former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) tweeted.
Reporters and commentators also marveled at Schumer's about-face.
"Democrats have managed to accede to Republican demands, demoralize their energized base, give a disengaged president a win, and look like they held a meaningless three-day government shutdown — all at once," CNN analyst and Boston Globe Deputy Washington Bureau Chief Matt Viser tweeted.
"Democrats surrender. Not sure I understand the point of the last three days," New York Times Washington correspondent Binyamin Appelbaum tweeted.
Last Modified: January 22, 2018, 7:02 pm