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Delaware Congressional members react to government shutdown deal on Dreamers

Tom Byrne
Delaware Public Media
Delaware State University students protest rescind of DACA protections in 2017.

Delaware’s junior senator was part of a bipartisan group that helped end the recent government shutdown.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Delaware) said Democrats gained significant concessions that allowed them to vote to reopen the government.

The federal government shut down Friday night over disagreements between Democrats and Republicans on protections for undocumented young adults who were brought to the country as children.

It reopened Monday when Democrats gained a commitment from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that there would be a floor vote to stop so-called “Dreamers” from being deported starting in March.

Some progressive members of the Democratic party say the Senate Democrats caved into GOP pressure. But Coons told the hosts of "Morning Joe" on MSNBC he has a growing confidence that there will be a compromise in the Senate soon.

“And at the end of the day, I was convinced we were not going to get more from him than that commitment and that it was time to move forward,” he said.

However House Republicans say they’re not bound by that agreement. Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester says it’s a test for the House leadership.

“The way that they will build that trust is by actually trying to come together, coming across party lines to work on these issues," she said. "They’re big issues where many of us have some common ground so we need to come together and do it.”

In a statement, Sen. Tom Carper  said he supported moving forward on a fix for Dreamers.

“Today’s vote was a first step toward getting those things done," he said. "My hope is the bipartisan talks over the weekend helped more members buy into the need to get legislation to protect the Dreamers over the finish line.

Congress passed legislation keeping the government open through Feb. 8th.

That bill included health insurance funding for low-income kids. But their initial demands from Republicans also included additional funding for community health centers and opioid treatment. Those issues remained unresolved.

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