‘In Mitch We Trust’ for a DACA vote to end the ‘shit-show’ shutdown? That was your whole plan, Chuck? (Updated)

This reminds me of the library ghost scene in Ghostbusters where Dr. Raymond “Ray” Stantz confronts a full torso apparition of a librarian in the library.

Ray tells his colleagues, “OK, I have plan. I know exactly what to do. Now stay close. Do exactly as I say, get ready — get her!” (The ghost transforms into an evil demon and turns on them).

Later, Dr. Peter Venkman laughs, “Hee hee hee! ‘Get her!’ That was your whole plan, huh, ‘get her.’ Very scientific.”

Dr. Venkman’s response — “‘Get her!’ That was your whole plan, huh, ‘get her.'” — is similar to my response to the deal struck today by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer with the Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to end the “shit-show” shutdown: “In Mitch We Trust” to bring up a vote on DACA after February 8? That was your whole plan, Chuck, “In Mitch We Trust.” You’re kidding me, right?

The Washington Post reports, Senate breaks budget impasse, paving way for government to reopen:

Senate Democrats bowed to pressure to reopen the government Monday, joining Republicans in backing an immigration and spending compromise that was quickly denounced by liberals and immigration activists.

Roughly 60 hours after the federal government first shut down, a bipartisan group of negotiators in the Senate prevailed with leadership, trading Democratic support for reopening the government for a commitment by Republicans to hold a vote resolving the status of young undocumented immigrants by mid-February.

The Senate voted 81-18 to end a filibuster of a spending bill that would fund the government through Feb. 8 and reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years. The upper chamber was expected to pass the measure Monday afternoon, then send it to the House for quick approval.

The government can reopen once President Trump signs the funding into law.

Channeling rage from immigration activists, the possible 2020 candidates were highly critical of their leaders’ willingness to trust that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will allow an immigration vote after Feb. 8 if senators cannot strike a deal before then.

“I believe it’s been a false choice that’s been presented” between keeping the government open and resolving the DACA issue, said Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), who voted no. “I believe we can do both.”

A majority of Democrats had forced the shutdown with demands for a vote on legislation to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients from deportation after Trump canceled the program. The final agreement did not include these protections, nor any specific guarantee of a vote.

Other possible White House contenders who voted against the bill included Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

Democratic and independent senators who relented in the standoff said they did not necessarily trust McConnell, but had faith that the bipartisan negotiators, including Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), would force him to abide by his commitments.

“I think frankly our trust is more with our colleagues, that they will hold him accountable,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who is up for reelection this year in a state Trump won.

* * *

McConnell had said Sunday night and Monday morning that it was his “intention” to take up legislation addressing DACA, border security and other issues if Democrats agreed to fund the government until Feb. 8.

“This immigration debate will have a level playing field at the outset and an amendment process that is fair to all sides,” he said Monday.

Beltway pundits have divined that this means McConnell will not simply put forward the immigration bill from anti-immigrant hardliner Tom Cotton (R-AR), which is a non-starter with Democrats, but will allow the bipartisan “Gang of Six” DACA bill and other amendments to be offered and voted on in the Senate.

UPDATE: Per usual, the Beltway pundits are wrong. McConnell has previously said that he will only bring a DACA bill to the floor of the Senate that has the president’s support. This will not be the bipartisan “Gang of Six” DACA bill. “Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) ‘were completely dishonest’ in their negotiations on immigration with President Donald Trump, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said Monday.” Graham-Durbin immigration proposal ‘completely dishonest,’ White House says. This is really about Trump retaliating against Sens. Durbin and Graham for publicizing his “shithole countries” comment to the press.

The vote to end debate on the spending bill came together quickly after Collins and several other senators said they wanted a firmer, more detailed commitment from McConnell.

“It would be helpful if the language were a little bit stronger because the level of tension is so high,” Collins told reporters outside her office.

A Republican aide involved in the talks said that McConnell and his team were considering putting their plan in document form with more detail as a way of convincing some Democrats to support the short-term bill.

Ahead of the vote to end debate, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned McConnell to keep his word.

“I expect the majority leader to fulfill his commitment to the Senate, to me and to the bipartisan group, and abide by this agreement. If he does not . . . he will have breached the trust of not only the Democratic senators, but members of his own party as well,” Schumer said.

Then what? Are you going to take away his birthday? There are no guarantees that McConnell will keep his commitment or any means to enforce his agreement. “In Mitch We Trust” is not a plan. More importantly, this deal is limited to the Senate. Where is any guarantee from “the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, agreeing to bring the DACA bill up for a vote in the House? Or his agreement to “an amendment process that is fair to all sides,” as McConnell promised?

UPDATE: House Majority Whipe Steve Scalise tells POLITICO that the House doesn’t feel at all bound by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s agreement with Senate Democrats to consider immigration legislation by Feb. 8. “March is really the timeline. … The House wasn’t part of that deal.” Playbook: Scalise says House not bound by McConnell’s pact with Dems. As POLITICO summizes: “Well, that deal was cute while it lasted. If the House doesn’t feel at all bound by the deal cut in the Senate, this whole three-day shutdown was for absolutely naught. Yes, there appears to be a bipartisan kumbaya in the Senate. But in the House, there’s a different tune being sung.”

Finally, where is any commitment from the racist white nationalist Twitter-troll-in-chief that he will sign whatever DACA bill the Congress sends to him, as he said he would do two weeks ago, before he reneged on it after being presented with a bipartisan “Gang of Six” DACA bill? Trump’s word cannot be trusted.

Aaron Blake of the Washington Post reports, Democrats caved on the shutdown, and they’re admitting it.

CNN reports, Democrats accepted the GOP’s plan, but here’s what they didn’t get:

Democrats accepted a commitment today to extend a funding bill to Feb. 8 without a resolution on immigration, but CNN’s Phil Mattingly noted they didn’t get guarantees on some of the key issues they were fighting for.

  • They did not get the commitment that the vote will happen before Feb. 8.
  • No commitment that speaker Paul Ryan will take whatever the Senate does and put it on the House floor.
  • They did not get the commitment that President Trump would be involved.

Mattingly said there is not a lot of trust right now with the President and where he’s going to come down on these things.

What Democrats did get

Democrats got commitment from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to work on legislation that would address spending cap and disaster aid and immigration, CNN’s Jake Tapper reported.

If there is no agreement by Feb. 8, McConnell promised there would be a vote with an amendment process on immigration.

Democrats got bupkus in this deal. Nice job, Chuck.

UPDATE: For a contrarian view, see Ezra Klein, Democrats didn’t cave on the shutdown.

16 responses to “‘In Mitch We Trust’ for a DACA vote to end the ‘shit-show’ shutdown? That was your whole plan, Chuck? (Updated)

  1. I define “cave” to mean the GOP caved. Before the shutdown, McConnell wouldn’t bring up DACA despite a majority of senators sympathetic. After the shutdown, he committed. True, he can renege, only introduce bills unacceptable to Dems, the House can vote NO on what the Senate passes, etc. But true too if McConnell breaks super clear understandings, Collins, Durbin et al will be all over him and the Dems can do another less trusting , more concrete shutdown with nothing but three weeks lost. The minority Dems, given their LIMITED powers, , did well. Political reality. Time soon enough will tell. For the nonce, patience. Or so I think

  2. Frances Perkins

    If you assume McConnell will lie about everything, you will be safe. Mr. “Up or down vote” would not even allow a hearing for a year on a Supreme Court nominee. Garland should have shown up and taken his seat, as the McConnell’s senate refused to take their responsibility, thus they waved any action. Who could have stopped Garland?

    • For Sure Not Tom

      It’s worth bringing up Garland/Gorsuch because it should be a constant reminder to the Dems that the GOP does not deal in good faith, they do not care about the law, the will of the people, or America.

      Never trust a Republican. Their party is led by an admitted con man FFS.

      It will be a miracle if the DACA issue is resolved, because the GOP base is rabidly against it, and this crap about a “path to citizenship”, why? Why would we all agree that these are kids raised in America as Americans and then force them to jump through hoops to become “legal”?

      This is “sins of the father” biblical BS. The GOP base wants blood, they want to punish these kids just for being brown.

  3. Taking this in a different direction.
    The last shutdown was in 2013 and probably most voters can recall who was President. I’m guessing very few voters can name the Senate majority and minority leaders, the House majority and minority leaders and probably don’t even know which party was in the majority in each body. To me that means the that shutdowns get associated with Presidents. Despite the Repub efforts to the contrary the latest shutdown will be the “Trump Shutdown” and might not be the only one.

  4. Trump weighs in…

    Donald J. Trump
    ‏Verified account
    @realDonaldTrump
    10h10 hours ago

    Big win for Republicans as Democrats cave on Shutdown. Now I want a big win for everyone, including Republicans, Democrats and DACA, but especially for our Great Military and Border Security. Should be able to get there. See you at the negotiating table!

  5. I think the Dems will probably pay a short term price but a month from now will come out ahead. If McConnell doesn’t live up to his word how can anyone trust any Republican to do what they say they will? If McConnell does allow a vote on a reasonable bill giving DACA people a permanent status, and it passes, how can anyone who wants that outcome say the Dems failed? If Such a bill fails the Dems will still have the high ground—“We did all we could”. On top of that the Dems will look like the party that has tried t good will and a rational path to governing. Of course Trump and his apologists will try their damnedest to pin blame on the Dems, and some will believe them, but for the most part the Dems now have a win-win situation.

    • What is the probability of a “reasonable bill giving DACA people a permanent status” being passed by the Senate, the House, and signed by Trump?

      The perception right now seems to be that the Democrats had a strong position and gave it away. No one knows why. It doesn’t seem likely, at least right now, that if the Democrats fail to pass a bill for the DACA recipients they will be praised for trying.

      Right now it looks like cowardice, and cowards don’t get to stake the moral high ground. Tens of thousands of people are out there protesting, and they want a sign that they’re being heard. They want the Democratic leadership to stand up and fight.

      But you’re right. If they somehow miraculously legislate a DACA bill… Nevermind, I can’t even finish the sentence.

  6. Chuck speaks…

    Chuck Schumer‏Verified account
    @SenSchumer

    I expect @SenateMajLdr to fulfill his commitment to the Senate & abide by this agreement. If he does not honor our agreement, he will have breached the trust of not only the Democratic Senators but the members of his own party as well.

    10:31 AM – 22 Jan 2018

    • @SenSchumer
      7h7 hours ago

      I am confident that there are sixty votes in the Senate for a DACA deal. And now there is a real pathway to get a bill on the floor and through the Senate. It is a good solution and I will vote for it.

    • Bending over for a deal made with a proven liar & welcher. Yup! That’s our Chucky Boy!

      Now that it’s passed the House think Deadbeat Donnie will sign or veto? McConnell has said Donnie will “sign anything we put in front of him” which our mercurial Pres*dent may very well take as major disrespect.

      • Well, he signed it. I’m not surprised, he had nothing to gain by vetoing it. It’s not like the Democrats won.

        This idea that the Senate can “return to regular order” seems like a pipe dream. The majority leader stole a SCOTUS appointment from the first black president and referred to it as his greatest accomplishment. These people are scumbags, and they should be dealt with the way one deals with scumbags.

        I wouldn’t trust Mitch McConnell to walk my neighbor’s dog.

        And these anti-immigration hawks in Congress really believe they can reverse current demographic trends, given a chance.

        Kind of a bad day for politics. But I can almost see where these old boys like Schumer don’t live in the real world. Supposedly they are adept at the wheeling and dealing and experience matters in politics. But unless I’m missing something, Schumer cut a lousy deal in a high stakes negotiation where people lives have been put up as the bargaining chips. I’m here to say that I don’t like it, not one damn bit.

  7. Kiese‏
    @KieseLaymon

    “You know the type, loud as a motorbike but couldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight.” I heard Chuck Schumer has this tatted across his lower back.

    3:20 PM – 22 Jan 2018

  8. For Sure Not Tom

    We actually don’t trust Chuck, because of crap like this, and we extend that “don’t trust” out to the DNC and HRC, who are as responsible for us being in this position as anyone.

    Because we shouldn’t be in this position. Trump shouldn’t have won.

    I was hoping the Dems would grow a backbone, but they’re the same bunch of cowards who hid from the ACA and Obama during the 2010 nightmare.

    All day long all the media goes on and one about how this or that will play out back home, and how it will impact someone’s re-election chances.

    Maybe someday we can have political parties who vote for what’s right for America instead of what their “base” wants, and maybe someday we can have a media that reports on the impact of our governments actions and on the sneaky little details these creeps slide into legislation instead of reporting on who’s most likely to be prom King and Queen.

    • Chuck Schumer is not one of my favorite Democrats, but until today I thought he was the right choice for minority leader.

      And somehow I don’t think this is a case where he’s playing chess and they’re playing checkers.

      I think the Democrats caved. Period.

    • And this. Yeah, sure seems like it.

      “…they’re the same bunch of cowards who hid from the ACA and Obama during the 2010 nightmare.”

    • Sen. John Kavanagh

      Most pundits I have read believe that the Dem base wanted the shutdown and the deal is the beginning of the end for the Dem old guard leaders. Not that I care, being an amused observer.