Senate Democrats are definitive in stating that as a party they have no interest in forcing another shutdown of the government in the event that they are not able to come to an agreement with Democrats on the immigration issue by the March 5 deadline.
A few Senators in the Democratic party have not been vocal in their speech against another shutdown perhaps because tough-talking regarding shutdowns could increase support with the party base but the party as a whole seems to have completely soured on the idea.
Dick Durbin, Senate Democratic whip from Illinois, who last week promised to vote against any bill that did not facilitate the aid of young immigrants who are facing the prospect of deportation. On Tuesday however, it was apparent that Durbin had experienced a change of heart as he dismissed talks of a second shutdown If the talks to be scheduled next month by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell do not prove fruitful.
Senator John Tester of Montana also representing the Democratic party when asked about the matter explained that he would not anticipate the blocking of another funding bill to force a federal shutdown. A third Senator echoed these sentiments saying that talks of a shutdown are pretty much off the table. “Shutdowns don’t work.” Was the lawmaker’s simple explanation.
Democrats do not feel that they are walking away from the shutdown completely empty handed as they do have the promise by McConnell that the two sides can debate the issue of immigration on an even playing field if no deal is made that would protect the interests of ‘Dreamer’ by February 8th.
Dreamers, who are for the most part young immigrants who were brought to America as children, are now facing the threat of being deported due to the decision on the part of President Trump to rescind the DACA program last September. The deadline imposed by the president to replace the program is March 5.
Democrats are keenly conscious of the fact that their negotiation position is weakened for a variety of reasons. For one, it is quite likely that the Republicans will demand major concessions if any immigration agreement is to be reached next month. It also a concern that even if an agreement is reached with the Senate that it still faces opposition from the Congress.
In addition to these obstacles, the views of President Trump on the matter adds a further air of uncertainty to the matter as it is sometimes unclear of what the negotiation position is for the President.