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The Government Shutdown Is Over and It May or May Not Be Because Democrats Folded Like a Cheap Suit

The (partial) government shutdown is over: Minutes ago, the majority of Senate Democrats voted for a three-week funding extension bill that includes a six-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, purportedly doing so in exchange for Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s promise to bring DACA legislation to the floor of the chamber for debate/voting no later than Feb. 8. (A substantial number of existing DACA protections for undocumented individuals brought to the U.S. as children begin expiring March 5.) That “promise,” to be clear, is not formally binding; Democrats’ leverage if he breaks it would ostensibly be to cause another shutdown. Whether or not this sort-of concession was worth the Democrats’ cooperation will no doubt be a subject of much discussion in the press and among progressives in coming days; observers have already noted that most of the few Dems who didn’t vote “yes” on the deal are either facing primary challenges from the left or are expected run for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination. In any case, the only takeaway that we can be sure of at this point is that Americans are about to start being able to use national park bathrooms again.

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