By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - The House of Representatives voted Monday evening to approve a stopgap spending bill that would fund the government through early February, drawing a three-day shutdown to a near close.
The fight was fiercest in the Senate, where the Republican leadership needed to corral at least a dozen Democrats to their side in the 100-member chamber to ensure a spending bill could overcome a potential filibuster. In all, about 30 Democrats lent their support Monday afternoon, sending the bill to the House of Representatives, which passed the measure 266-150, sending it to President Donald Trump to sign into law.
In all, 18 senators from both parties voted against the bill that funds the government through Feb. 8. But with both the House and Senate ultimately giving their approval to the stopgap measure, government offices are set to re-open Tuesday morning.
Democrats had been holding out for assurances that the Senate would proceed to a replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration protections program, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled that the matter would move forward under an open amendment process as long as the government remains open, paving the way for most Democrats to lend their support.
DACA, a presidential initiative under former President Barack Obama, shielded about 800,000 undocumented migrants who were brought to the country illegally as children from deportation before Trump abruptly ended it last year.
In the run-up to a procedural vote, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he is confident he can muster enough votes in the Senate to move a DACA replacement through the chamber.
Trump, who has touted himself as the ultimate dealmaker, was unusually on the sidelines throughout the three-day process. In a statement following the first of two Senate votes on the short-term appropriations bill, Trump said he is "pleased that Democrats in Congress have come to their senses".
"As I have always said, 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," he said.