US Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, expressed her frustration with the possibility of the federal government being shut down for the second time within a few days. She was not alone. Identical feelings have been shared by Congresswoman Annie Kuster as well. The solution must be found quickly. The government funding bill for the short term, agreed on January, runs its course during the first week of February. The bill itself brought to an end a shutdown which lasted three days. The bill was inclusive of a Senate Republican's promise that a debate will be held in the middle of February which will extend all protections to young undocumented immigrants. The latter is slated to lose all legal protections provided by the Obama administration. The former president began the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or what is popularly known as DACA. This program will be shut down in March.
It is anticipated that the House will vote during the first week of February on the short-term bill so that the government functions until the last week of March. Democrats in the House is expected to vote against Republicans continuing the resolution. This move is fairly certain as the Republican leadership has not made many promises to permit a floor vote in the chamber on the issue of any kind of Senate deal on Dreamers. It is not clear whether the House GOP will have sufficient votes to pass this continuing resolution.
Shaheen is one of a bipartisan cluster of senators who created the compromise framework the last time the shutdown took place. The group includes Maggie Hassan, a fellow Democrat and Senator Angus King, an independent. Republican Susan Collins led the group. Collins is the senior senator from the New Hampshire state.
Shaheen said that the group has worked ceaselessly from the last shutdown with the intention to try and keep the government functioning. It also wants to come to a funding agreement. The group wants a DACA agreement as well. If a compromise could be reached by within the second week of February, an honest debate on all issues will happen on the floor. Senator Shaheen said that Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, has consented to bring a completely neutral bill, meaning one side only will not be benefited. If this happens, there will be a productive debate on the issue.