Gillibrand Opposes Schumer’s Bipartisan Budget Deal Over DACA

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a rumored 2020 presidential candidate, says she is against Sen. Charles Schumer’s bipartisan budget deal to prevent a government shutdown because it does not include protections for Dreamers.

On Wednesday, Schumer, a Democrat and the Senate Minority Leader, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, announced a two-year budget agreement that increases military and non-defense spending by $300 billion over the next two years and includes more than $80 billion in disaster relief.

It also funds the Children’s Health Insurance Program for another four years, increases funding for programs that target the opioid epidemic and invests in community health centers.

President Donald Trump signed the deal into law on Friday morning after the Senate and the House passed it.

The deal, however, does not include protections for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program instituted by former President Barack Obama in 2012 for undocumented individuals brought to the United States in their early childhood. Trump ended the program in September 2017.

Gillibrand took to Twitter on Thursday morning to announce her opposition to any deal that does not resolve the fate of Dreamers. A continuing resolution would keep the government open until March 23—well after DACA expires on March 5.

“I have made it clear that I won’t vote for any long-term spending deal that doesn’t include protections for our Dreamers,” the senator said in a statement provided to Observer. “Republican leadership has refused to do the morally right thing by protecting the young people who know only this country as their home. We shouldn’t allow our young people to be used as bargaining chips in this country.  I believe senators on both sides of the aisle should fight for these kids as hard as we would fight for our own families.”

Other senators who are said to be considering runs for president in 2020 have also expressed their opposition to the deal. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have all said they will vote against it.

Spokespeople for Schumer did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

But Schumer has made it clear he thinks the latest deal is the best way forward.

“This bipartisan and historic agreement is a major shot in the arm for middle-class families from Western New York to Staten Island all the way to the eastern end of Long Island,” he said in a statement on Wednesday. “The budget deal doesn’t have everything Democrats want; it doesn’t have everything the Republicans want, but it has what the American people need. It shows that bipartisanship still lives in Washington and that both parties can work together to address the issues affecting our nation.”

Gillibrand Opposes Schumer’s Bipartisan Budget Deal Over DACA