VIDEO - A precarious agreement has been reached in the US Senate to allow funding the federal state for less than three weeks.
The Democrats have lowered their guard first. In a mid-day vote in the Senate, more than half of opposition representatives joined the Republican majority to end the shutdown of the federal government. They just made a promise Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House of Commons, to quickly convene an "open" debate on immigration. In return, they agreed to fund the Administration for less than three weeks until February 8th.
This precarious agreement augurs new tensions in the near future. But it nonetheless marks a victory for Donald Trump and his Republican majority, who played the card of firmness by refusing to discuss an immigration reform under the pressure of blackmail on the budget. Entered on Monday in his third day - the first one worked -, the shutdown threatened to gradually affect 800,000 civil servants deemed "non-essential" (outside the military and security services in the broad sense).
In 2013, the last episode of the genre lasted sixteen days. At the time Republicans had taken the federal budget hostage in an effort to dismantle Obamacare health insurance. The maneuver had failed. So simple real estate developer, Donald Trump had seen evidence of "total dysfunction of Washington" and "lack of leadership" Barack Obama.
This time, the Democrats used budget blackmail to maintain a provision that protects some 788,000 undocumented migrants who arrived in the United States from eviction. This program, known by its initials DACA, was introduced by an Obama decree in 2012. Trump canceled it last September, leaving Congress until March 5 to legalize the fate of Dreamers, as we calls these young migrants.
The won bet of the Republicans
Elected officials, including in the Republican ranks, declare themselves to be mostly in favor, reflecting the opinion of 74% of Americans, according to a Pew Research Center survey. But the radical Tea Party trend and pro-Trump activists are hostile to it. Swaying between his personal inclination and the desire to please his base, the president went from a willingness to compromise compromise to a sharp hardening of tone, blurring the message on what he really wanted. "His refusal to negotiate a compromise has caused this shutdown," said Monday the leader of the Democratic minority Chuck Schumer.
Friday, around a lunch of cheeseburgers at the White House, Trump and Schumer seemed to have agreed on the outline of a compromise, the president even getting funds for its wall on the Mexican border in exchange for concessions on the DACA. In the process, several of his advisors, including his chief of staff John Kelly and political director Stephen Miller, supported by House Majority Leader Paul Ryan, made him more intransigent on a subject that excites his followers. These reversals undermined the Democrats 'confidence in the Republicans' promise to help the Dreamers.
Since the start of the shutdown, each side was engaged in a tactical game. On the advice of his entourage, Trump has refrained from intervening in the negotiations, despite his temptation to appear as a "dealmaker". He contented himself with a few bursts of tweets accusing Democrats of preferring illegal immigrants to US citizens and military. The White House telephone switch announced that it could not take calls because "Democrats are holding government funding - including our troops and other national security priorities - hostage because of an unrelated debate. , on immigration ".
The President spent the weekend at the White House as a caged lion, deprived of a glittering evening in Mar-a-Lago, his Florida residence, for the first anniversary of his taking office, reduced to follow on television the Congress's cumbersome efforts to break the stalemate. "By remaining behind, he emphasizes the incompetence of elected officials. The more he appears in public, the more it becomes his problem, "said Republican strategist John Feehery in the Washington Post.
On Capitol Hill, the two parties stood high. In a situation of inferiority, the Democrats used one of the only levers at their disposal against the executive and legislative powers controlled by the Republicans. Polls attributed more shutdown to the latter (41% vs. 36%). But the majority won their bet of camping on a position of firmness. Eight Democratic senators are putting their mandates at stake next November in states won by Trump last year.
- Twenty shutdowns have hit the United States since 1976
- The shutdown in the United States: paralysis, technical unemployment and uncertainty