Senators appeared optimistic they had the votes to end the government shutdown Monday after leaving meetings more confident about a compromise deal to allow Congress to pass a short-term funding bill.
The chamber is expected to shortly vote to advance a stopgap bill to keep the government open through Feb. 8.
“We will vote today to reopen the government,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Schumer said Democrats have received assurances that the Senate will take on immigration issues, such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Earlier Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he intends to allow debate on immigration before Feb. 8.
The Democratic leader said he was “confident” a bipartisan immigration bill could win 60 votes.
Whether he does so, and whether the Senate can pass an immigration bill, remains to be seen. Democrats were holding out to get to vote on protecting hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants as part of a spending bill, but appeared not to have that demand met.
However, Schumer said he trusted McConnell’s pledge.
“I expect the majority leader to fulfill his agreement to the Senate,” the New York Democrat said, adding that if he does not, he will have “breached” the trust of bipartisan senators who worked the chamber out of an impasse.
Democrats who opposed a funding bill on Friday night including Mark Warner of Virginia and Bill Nelson of Florida said they would support the measure on Monday.
If it gets passed by Congress and signed, the funding legislation means that federal agencies will no longer be forced to shut their doors, and to furlough nonessential workers. U.S. government funding lapsed at the end of Friday.
The Senate had aimed to vote on a procedural motion to advance the spending plan Monday. , on Sunday night, after a day of bipartisan wrangling, moved to hold a vote at 10 p.m. ET, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D., N.Y., objected. McConnell then scheduled a cloture vote for Monday.
Once the measure clears the Senate, it would move to the House, where if it gets approved it would go to President Donald Trump‘s desk.
Since Friday, some Democrats, including Schumer and Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., have expressed a willingness to compromise on Trump’s proposed border wall in order to secure protections for the young undocumented immigrants.
After the House passed a temporary funding bill on Thursday night, the Senate failed to approve it by the midnight Saturday deadline.
Trump had initially planned to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his inauguration by hosting a glitzy campaign fundraiser at Mar-A-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, Fla. But with no deal in sight by midday on Friday, the White House announced that the president would remain in Washington until a deal was reached.
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.