WASHINGTON – A deal was hastily assembled and approved Monday to break through the Senate stalemate over immigration and border security that shut down the government for three days.
The agreement, brought forth by a bipartisan group of senators and embraced by their parties’ leaders, is a bare-bones accord that provides temporary funding to keep the government operating for just under three weeks. Senate Democrats dropped their objections to a stopgap spending measure. In return, Senate Republican leaders promised to soon take up immigration and other prickly issues.
WHAT’S IN THE DEAL
—Short-term funding for the government through Feb. 8. The Republicans had been insisting on longer, at least a month.
—The long-delayed, six-year renewal of a popular health insurance program for children in low-income families. The program known as CHIP became an unshakeable pillar for the Republicans throughout the budget drama, and Democrats were hard-pressed to reject such a universally accepted plan.
—Delays to three taxes under the Obama-era health care law: the medical device tax through 2019, the so-called Cadillac tax on generous employer-paid health care plans through 2021 and a tax on health insurance companies through 2019.
WHAT’S NOT IN IT
—Any move to halt deportation efforts aimed at immigrant “Dreamers,” who were brought to the U.S. as children and are now in the country illegally. Trump ended the program — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA — late last year, but gave Congress until March 5 to pass legislation extending it. DACA currently protects some 700,000 immigrants from deportation.
—New funds to toughen border security, including money to start building President Donald Trump’s long-promised wall spanning the U.S.-Mexico border. The wall was one of his leading campaign promises, and a number of congressional Republicans have continually stressed border security in the budget talks.
—Longer-term funding for the government.