How a 'Talking Stick' Helped End the Shutdown

As President Trump crows about 'big win' for GOP
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2018 5:32 AM CST
Updated Jan 23, 2018 6:45 AM CST
Trump: Democrats Caved on Shutdown
Senate Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn speaks to reporters as he walks to the Senate Chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The government shutdown is over and hundreds of thousands of federal employees will be returning to work Tuesday—but with only a stopgap plan to fund the government in place until Feb. 8, they could end up furloughed again in the near future. In return for Democratic votes, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised to take up legislation to deal with DACA and other issues, though critics on both the right and left have accused Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of caving. A roundup of coverage:

  • Winners and losers. At CNN, Chris Cillizza rounds up winners and losers from the end of the shutdown. The winners include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, dealmaking GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, and moderates from both parties. The losers include Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer—and the House, which found itself cut out of the dealmaking processs.

  • Trump's reaction. "Big win for Republicans as Democrats cave on Shutdown," Trump tweeted Monday night. "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!"
  • Dissent on the left. In a rare moment of agreement with Trump, progressives also accused the "weak-kneed" Democrats of caving in, the Hill reports. Schumer is the "worst negotiator in Washington—even worse than Trump," said Murshed Zaheed at the Credo advocacy group.
  • A deal built on trust. The Washington Post notes that Democrats are going to have to trust McConnell, who said only that it was his "intention" to address the DACA issue at some point.

  • The talking stick. Insiders tell CNN that GOP Sen. Susan Collins persuaded senators holding the bipartisan meetings in her office to use a "talking stick," which would be held by the person whose turn it was to talk. One GOP senator says the system worked most of the time, though there was an incident when a senator "forcefully delivered" the stick across the room when somebody spoke out of turn, damaging an elephant ornament on a shelf.
  • Only a pause. Both sides admit that with funding due to expire again on Feb.8, this is only a brief pause in the battle. A top aide to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tells Politico that she won't support a long-term budget deal without progress on immigration issues, which Democrats plan to link to increasing military spending caps. "Eventually the defense hawks are going to rise up. Republican leadership will be under immense pressure to get this caps deal done from their own members."
  • How they voted. The AP looks at the votes for the Senate deal that ended the shutdown after 69 hours. Some 33 Democrats voted for the stopgap deal, which received a total of 81 votes. Possible 2020 hopefuls like Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker voted no, as did independent Bernie Sanders, but out of 10 Democrats up for re-election this year in states Trump won in 2016, only Montana's Jon Tester voted no.
(Read more government shutdown stories.)

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