The Latest: Immigrant advocates skewer Senate Democrats

The Latest: Immigrant advocates skewer Senate Democrats

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the budget battle (all times local):

6:30 p.m.
Prominent immigrant advocacy groups are skewering Democratic senators for relenting in a fight that linked immigration changes to continued government funding.

The youth group United We Dream says Senate Democrats who supported a deal to keep the government running through Feb. 8 are “enablers” of President Donald Trump’s agenda.

The Los Angeles-based Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights says Democrats “need to grow some courage.”
The American Civil Liberties Union says Republicans and Democrats “betrayed our American values and allowed bigotry and fear to prevail.”

America’s Voice executive director Frank Sharry says he was moved to tears of disappointment that Democrats “blinked.”
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6:15 p.m.

Congress has approved a bipartisan agreement to re-open the federal government after a three-day partial shutdown.
The House approved the bill, 266-150, hours after the Senate backed it, 81-18. President Donald Trump is expected to quickly sign the measure to fund government operations through Feb. 8.

The votes set the stage for hundreds of thousands of federal workers to return Tuesday, cutting short what could have become a messy and costly impasse.

Senate Democrats reluctantly voted in favor of the bill, relenting in return for Republican assurances that the Senate will soon take up the plight of young immigrant “dreamers” and other contentious issues. Democrats from states won by Trump in 2016 broke with progressives looking to satisfy liberals’ and immigrants’ demands.
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4:55 p.m.
Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana has voted against a bipartisan agreement to re-open the federal government after a three-day shutdown. He was the only “no” vote Monday among 10 incumbent Democrats facing re-election this year in states won by President Donald Trump in 2016.

Tester says the budget deal did not include funding for community health centers important to his rural state, nor did it add resources for border security.

Tester says that while pundits have focused on immigration, “this was always about Montana for me and I just won’t allow Washington to keep failing our state.”

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is blasting Tester for “engaging in political games with vital government funding” and says the two-term senator voted alongside the Senate’s most liberal Democrats.
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4:30 p.m.

The Senate has overwhelmingly approved legislation that will end the federal shutdown, almost certainly in time for the government to reopen Tuesday.

The 81-18 vote came hours after Democrats abandoned their opposition to the measure. They’d been using the shutdown in hopes of pressuring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to cut a deal on immigration.

But many moderates from both parties were pushing party leaders to reopen federal agencies. Democrats backed the bill after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’d try reaching a compromise on immigration and the budget early next month. McConnell said if there was still no immigration agreement by Feb. 8, he’d immediately begin debate on the issue.

The bill will finance government through Feb. 8. House passage was expected later Monday.
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4:25 p.m.

The Senate has approved legislation to make sure federal workers get paid for the three-day government shutdown.
The unanimous voice vote sends the measure to the House, where approval is expected.

Under the law, workers aren’t paid when there’s a lapse in funding for the government — even if they’re deemed essential and have to show up to work.
Monday’s measure would fix that and make sure every federal worker would be paid during the shutdown that began Saturday.

The measure would also add retroactive pay language to a stopgap spending bill to reopen the government that passed the Senate Monday. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the legislation as soon as he receives it.
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4:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump is meeting with a pair of moderate Democratic senators at the White House Monday afternoon to discuss immigration.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders says West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Alabama Sen. Doug Jones are meeting with the president to discuss the legislative path forward after the three-day government shutdown is ended.
The red-state lawmakers both broke with the majority of their party Friday on a vote to keep the government open. But enough Democrats withheld their support from the measure in an effort to force progress on legislation to address immigration policy.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pledging to bring up immigration legislation next month if agreement isn’t reached by Feb. 8.
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3:25 p.m.
The No. 2 Senate Republican says President Donald Trump is eager to involve himself in the immigration debate and “reach a solution.”

Texas Sen. John Cornyn says he and five other GOP senators met Monday with Trump at the White House soon after Democrats halted their blockade against a bill ending the government shutdown.
Cornyn says they discussed how to address immigration issues “in creative ways.”
Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, David Perdue of Georgia, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and James Lankford of Oklahoma also met with Trump. Several of them are among the harder-line Republicans on immigration.
Democrats let the bill ending the shutdown advance after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he intended to reach a bipartisan deal on immigration and budget issues.
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2:30 p.m.
President Donald Trump says he is pleased that congressional Democrats “have come to their senses” and abandoned their filibuster that shut down the federal government. Trump says his administration will make a long-term immigration deal “if and only if it’s good for our country.”
Trump issued a statement Monday afternoon after roughly 25 senators from both parties helped negotiate an end to the federal government shutdown. It was read by spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders at a press briefing.
Trump said he was glad the government will be funded. He continued: “Once the government is funded, my administration will work toward solving the problem of very unfair illegal immigration.”
He added: “We will make a long term deal on immigration if and only if it’s good for our country.”
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1:55 p.m.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says Monday is “a day to celebrate” after roughly 25 senators from both parties helped negotiate an end to the government shutdown.
The Republican says the group shared a common determination to keep the government running while doing something about “Dreamers” who were brought to the country as children and are now here illegally. Collins says a group of 17 senators grew to a quarter of the Senate over the weekend.
Several Democrats who were part of that group dropped their objections Monday after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a final offer to try to reach bipartisan solutions on immigration and other issues by early February.