A bill to reopen the federal government and fund its operations until Feb. 8 easily passed the House of Representatives on Monday evening, setting the stage for President Donald Trump's signature later on Monday night, and the reopening of government first thing Tuesday morning.
The final vote tally was 260 yeas, to 150 no votes. The bill funds the government for 17 days, and it funds the popular CHIP children's insurance program for six years. It does not include a permanent fix for the Obama-era DACA program, which Senate Democrats had originally demanded.
"There are no winners here today, I want to make that clear," said House Speaker Paul Ryan, shortly after the conclusion of the vote. "No winners, except perhaps the millions of families who depend on the Children's Health Insurance Program. Soon, the longest reauthorization in the program's history will become law. But this is not a moment to pat ourselves on the back. Not even close," he said.
Negotiations over the bill took place almost entirely in the Senate, where on Friday night, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had been unable to reach the 60 vote threshold required to keep the government open.Speaking shortly after the
But on Monday morning, the first official day of government employee furloughs, McConnell said he intends to bring DACA and other immigration issues up for debate before Feb. 8. Later, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer confirmed an agreement to reopen the government and tackle immigration within three weeks.
The final step remaining in the process of reopening the government was for the president to sign the bill, an event expected to take place later on Monday evening.
Trump has been largely absent from negotiations for the past three days, speaking to congressional Republicans by phone, but refusing to speak with Democrats. Following an initial Senate vote on Monday, the president issued a statement saying he was "pleased that Democrats in Congress have come to their senses."
Trump also pledged that, "once the Government is funded, my administration will work toward solving the problem of very unfair illegal immigration. We will make a long-term deal on immigration if, and only if, it is good for our country."
How such a deal might be structured, so as to have a chance of passing the Republican controlled House, is fast becoming the thorniest question in Washington D.C.