"The Republican majority now has 17 days to prevent the DREAMers from being deported."
After Donald Trump and the Republicans spent three days failing to get their act together, Democrats helped end the Trump shutdown in exchange for a promise that DREAMers will finally get a vote within the next two weeks, according to a senior Democratic aide.
"We expect that a bipartisan bill on DACA will receive fair consideration and an up or down vote on the floor," Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said from the Senate floor.
But on Monday, Schumer struck a deal with Republicans to provide enough votes to reopen the government, in exchange for a promise that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will bring an immigration bill up for a vote.
Democrats also secured six years of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which Republicans allowed to expire last September, and which they subsequently held hostage in the shutdown negotiations.
The deal passed by an 81-18 margin funds the government until Feb. 8, at which point the Democrats, and the Republicans who also initially opposed a deal that didn't include a fix for DREAMers, will have the opportunity to test McConnell's promise. McConnell had been unable to get even his own party to agree to last week's failed bill.
Schumer made the results of that test explicit. "The Republican majority now has 17 days to prevent the DREAMers from being deported, he said.
If McConnell fails to honor his pledge, Democrats will once again have the opportunity to hold fast for DREAMers, while Republicans will be forced to put their money where their mouth is and provide the fix for DACA they have said they want.
The onus is now on Republicans to keep their commitments, and to keep the government open past that Feb. 8 deadline.