Politics: With Talking Stick in Hand, Moderate Senators Broke the Shutdown - PressFrom - US
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Politics With Talking Stick in Hand, Moderate Senators Broke the Shutdown

03:35  23 january  2018
03:35  23 january  2018 Source:   nytimes.com

Schumer: Senate Dems broadly opposed to House funding bill

  Schumer: Senate Dems broadly opposed to House funding bill Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is warning that Democrats are widely opposed to the current House plan to fund the government, but stopped short of saying his caucus would withhold help on getting to 60 votes. "The revulsion toward that bill was broad and strong. ...We hope to avoid it [a shutdown] ...  but if we don't, it's going to fall on their backs," Schumer told reporters, referring to Republicans and the White House, when asked how many Democratic senators would oppose the House plan.He added that "the overwhelming number in our caucus have said they don't like this deal ...

WASHINGTON — The ground rules were simple: Senators wishing to voice their opinion needed to wait their turn and could speak only once they had grabbed hold of a Masai tribal talking stick . As their colleagues went on the airwaves or rushed to the Senate floor to noisily trade blame over a

The ground rules were simple: Senators wishing to voice their opinion needed to wait their turn and could speak only once they had grabbed hold of a “I needed order,” Ms. Collins said in an interview on Monday, referring to the hand -carved wooden talking stick — a gift from Senator Heidi Heitkamp

a man holding a phone: Senators Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, and Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, on Monday. They were key members of a bipartisan group of senators that helped find a compromise end to the government shutdown. © Pete Marovich for The New York Times Senators Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, and Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, on Monday. They were key members of a bipartisan group of senators that helped find a compromise end to the government shutdown.

WASHINGTON — The ground rules were simple: Senators wishing to voice their opinion needed to wait their turn and could speak only once they had grabbed hold of a Native American talking stick.

As their colleagues went on the airwaves or rushed to the Senate floor to noisily trade blame over a government shutdown, about two dozen centrist senators from both parties crammed for hours into the Capitol Hill office of Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, to try to chart a civil way out of what Senator Mitch McConnell had called a “box canyon.”

Schumer's moment: Shutdown puts spotlight on Dem leader

  Schumer's moment: Shutdown puts spotlight on Dem leader For Republicans, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is the face of the government shutdown. Perhaps the most powerful Democrat in Washington, Schumer has so far succeeded in keeping his party unified in a bid to use the government funding fight to push for protections for some 700,000 young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. But he has little margin for error in this first major test of his muscle and maneuvering as leader. The pragmatist is balancing the demands of a liberal base eager for a fight with President Donald Trump and the political realities of red-state senators anxious about their re-election prospects this fall.

Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, is no more sanguine. “Congress is weaker than it has been in decades, the Senate isn’t tackling our great national problems, and this has little to do with who sits in the Oval Office,” he With Talking Stick in Hand , Moderate Senators Broke the Shutdown .

Senate Democrats had to hold something of an intervention to persuade Mr. Manchin to run for re-election. Recognizing the statement that his abrupt retirement would send about centrism and the political bind it would leave With Talking Stick in Hand , Moderate Senators Broke the Shutdown .

“I needed order,” Ms. Collins said in an interview on Monday, referring to the hand-carved wooden talking stick — a gift from Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat of North Dakota.

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Apparently it worked. By Monday afternoon, when the Senate voted overwhelmingly to end the three-day shutdown, the group convened by Ms. Collins was credited with nudging together the Senate leadership toward a deal to reopen the federal government in exchange for a promise from Republican leaders to address the fate of young, undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers.

At least for now, the group, which calls itself the Common Sense Coalition, fulfilled the hope — long talked about but rarely realized — that a centrist contingent could bridge an otherwise deeply divided Senate. The question was whether it could hold together long enough to forge a much grander bargain over a disparate set of pressing issues before Congress: Raising limits on domestic and military spending, providing disaster relief to storm-ravaged states and a more comprehensive immigration deal to address the Dreamers and border security.

Winners and losers of the government shutdown

  Winners and losers of the government shutdown Republicans pretty clearly won this battle.Let's jump right in.

“ Broken promises are bad enough,” Mr. Trumka said during a meeting with reporters. With Talking Stick in Hand , Moderate Senators Broke the Shutdown .

Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, and Mr. Graham have been leading bipartisan talks on immigration. Their initial proposal — which did not include the president’s more hard-line proposals — was rejected by Mr. Trump With Talking Stick in Hand , Moderate Senators Broke the Shutdown .

“The effort has resulted in the government reopening. That was the critical first step,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska. “But now the real work begins.”

At a nearly giddy news conference just off the Senate floor on Monday, Democrats and Republicans gushed over the possibilities and spoke of meetings to come.

“Susan’s office is Switzerland,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said. “It is the one place we can all go and feel good.”

a group of people sitting at a table with wine glasses: “Susan’s office is Switzerland,” Senator Lindsey Graham, center, Republican of South Carolina, said. “It is the one place we can all go and feel good.” © Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times “Susan’s office is Switzerland,” Senator Lindsey Graham, center, Republican of South Carolina, said. “It is the one place we can all go and feel good.” Senator Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat, was just as effusive: “We can make a lasting difference in how the Senate of the United States works,” he said before snapping a picture of the group on his iPhone. “We can get it back to working.”

Senate moderates see influence grow after shutdown fight

  Senate moderates see influence grow after shutdown fight As the partisan blame game on the government shutdown intensified over the weekend, a growing number of senators from both parties began meeting in "little Switzerland."

Talks that helped end the shutdown were led by a group of about 25 senators — Republicans, Democrats and an independent — who called themselves the Common Sense Coalition. With Talking Stick in Hand , Moderate Senators Broke the Shutdown .

Susan Collins's " talking stick ." Republican and Democratic senators reportedly huddled in the office of the Maine Republican senator , who hosted negotiations to break the shutdown stalemate. Only the senator in possession of the " talking stick " could speak, and his or her colleagues would have to

The group’s maneuvering offered members of both parties an escape hatch from a bitter dispute that Republicans and Democrats said could have easily stretched on days longer.

The coalition, which was first formed amid an earlier government shutdown, in the fall of 2013, began to stir to life on Friday afternoon, as it became clear the Senate would be unable to stave off a shutdown. Ms. Collins approached Senator Joe Manchin III, the West Virginia Democrat and the coalition’s co-chairman, on the Senate floor, and within hours a group of 17 senators were crowded into her office to sketch out terms of engagement.

The group eventually came to include a broad swath of institutionally minded senators, including the Republicans Jeff Flake of Arizona, Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Mike Rounds of South Dakota, and the Democrats Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Tim Kaine of Virginia and Doug Jones of Alabama.

Members of the group spent the weekend shuttling between Ms. Collins’s overcrowded office, where they snacked on Girl Scout cookies and popcorn, and the office suites of Mr. McConnell and Senator Chuck Schumer, the party leaders. As the weekend wore on, the group kept growing, up to 25 by Monday — crowded enough that one senator had to sit on a credenza.

GOP Senator Throws 'Talking Stick' During Shutdown Meeting, Breaks Glass Elephant

  GOP Senator Throws 'Talking Stick' During Shutdown Meeting, Breaks Glass Elephant A Republican senator accidentally broke a glass elephant with a toss of a “talking stick” during government shutdown negotiations, and people on Twitter can’t get enough of the symbolism. Sen. Susan Collins (R- Maine) invited around 20 senators from both parties into her Capitol Hill office over the weekend in a bid to end the government shutdown, according to multiple reports.Collins reportedly asked attendees to speak only when they were in possession of a “talking stick.” But when Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) interrupted Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Alexander threw the stick to him across the room.

And Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, called on Mr. McConnell to jump into the talks with Mr. Trump. “The power to end the shutdown is in two people’s hands : Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell,” Mr. Schumer said Thursday in a brief hallway interview.

Senator Susan Collins, a Republican, made an appearance on CNN Tuesday and showed off the colourful stick that senators were. The Senate voted Monday night to end a government shutdown that had lasted just under three full days. Democrats had initially demanded that the funding bill

They cycled through a series of ideas: Further shortening the length of the short-term spending bill; attaching a bill to protect Dreamers to another piece of must-pass legislation; demanding that Mr. McConnell put an immigration bill authored by Mr. Graham and Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, on the floor for a vote. Each was eventually deemed untenable.

By Sunday afternoon, the group had settled on a compromise that would fund the government for three weeks alongside a commitment by Mr. McConnell that the Senate would move expeditiously to take up the immigration issue. The challenge was getting the leaders to agree.

Mr. McConnell signaled Sunday night that he was listening to their suggestion, saying on the Senate floor that it was “my intention” to move ahead with immigration legislation.

But Democrats, led by Mr. Schumer, wanted more. The issue was whether the majority leader could be trusted to keep his word. Democrats have not forgiven Mr. McConnell for blocking the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick B. Garland for almost a year in hopes that a Republican would be elected to the White House.

Asked Monday morning how much of an issue that mistrust was, Mr. Manchin was clear. “Uh, most of it,” he said.

Mr. Schumer asked Ms. Collins to meet him in his office late Sunday after Mr. McConnell’s remarks and said he needed more clarity and assurance from the majority leader. Mr. Flake, who had initially supported the shutdown along with most Democrats, worked into the night with Ms. Collins to edge Mr. McConnell toward a more explicit statement.

Instead of digging in, Democrats quickly sought an agreement

  Instead of digging in, Democrats quickly sought an agreement When the Senate called it quits late Sunday night, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer declared there still was no deal to end the federal government shutdown and address a standoff over immigration. On Monday morning, he and many of his fellow Democrats got to yes fast.Whether it was a fresh offer from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, moderates' stampede away from the shutdown blowback or a Maasai "talking stick" wielded by Sen. Susan Collins isn't entirely clear. What is apparent is that Democrats began the morning planning to dig in, and the tide turned fast behind closed doors.

A Republican senator accidentally broke a glass elephant with a toss of a “ talking stick ” during government shutdown negotiations, and Susan Collins (R- Maine) invited around 20 senators from both parties into her Capitol Hill office over the weekend in a bid to end the government shutdown

A colorful talking stick helped Republican Senator Susan Collins lead bipartisan negotiations early this week between a group of about 24 centrist senators that broke an impasse ending a 69-hour U.S. government shutdown Monday.

Monday morning, he firmed up his pledge enough to win over Democrats, saying that the Senate’s immigration debate would have “a level playing field at the outset and an amendment process that is fair to all sides.” Behind the scenes, Republicans in the bipartisan group who had tied their interests to Democrats vouched for Mr. McConnell’s word.

“I said before, ‘Trust but verify,’” Senator Angus King of Maine, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, said of Mr. McConnell. “He made this commitment publicly in the Senate floor. He was much more specific than he was last night. And frankly I think this is an important opportunity for him to demonstrate that he will carry through.”

By the time Democratic and Republican senators met privately with their respective caucuses later Monday morning, it was clear it was enough to get to yes. Mr. Schumer told Democrats he would support reopening the government.

Not all Democrats were convinced. Senator Kamala D. Harris, Democrat of California and one of more than a dozen liberal Democrats who voted against the funding bill, said Mr. McConnell’s comments on Sunday night “fell far short of the ironclad guarantee” she needed.

But Mr. Flake said the Republican leader had made clear to Democrats he had done what he could do.

“Standing on the floor and saying we are going to proceed to an immigration bill in this environment with this kind of attention being paid to it is a pretty good promise,” he said.

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Bipartisan group of senators to meet Wednesday on immigration .
A bipartisan group of senators, including members of leadership, will meet on Wednesday evening as they look for a deal on immigration. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters that a bipartisan group put together by GOP Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.), will meet around 5 p.m.Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, are expected to take part in the meeting.Cornyn said on Wednesday that he and Durbin will work as a "clearinghouse" to field ideas from both caucuses.

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