Senator Bill Nelson was under pressure after voting to reopen the federal government on Monday, three days after he voted to shut it down.
Gov. Rick Scott, his likely 2018 opponent, said Nelson’s vote to shut down the government “didn’t make any sense.”
Some Democrats weren’t happy either, arguing that moderates like Nelson surrendered to Republicans and reopened the government without a deal to protect nearly 800,000 undocumented young immigrants known as Dreamers from deportation.
But Nelson was unfazed.
After negotiating a deal to reopen the federal government for three weeks, Nelson was unable to contain a wide smile while explaining that a deal he helped broker was the best possible compromise to get federal employees back to work while getting Republicans to commit to a vote on the status of Dreamers.
“Before this agreement they (Dreamers) had no assurance for protection and we were not getting any help from the White House, we weren't getting any help from the House and we really weren't getting any help from the Republican leadership in the Senate. But now we have a path forward in which we can work a bipartisan solution that will take care of the Dreamers,” Nelson said. “I think the American people are going to be cheering that this occurred.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not commit to a deal or compromise for Dreamers on Monday, something that many Democrats previously said was a condition for reopening the government after it shut down on Friday night, though he did commit to debate and vote on the issue.
“So long as the government remains open it would be my intention to take up legislation here in the Senate that would address DACA, border security and related issues as well as disaster relief, defense funding, healthcare and other important matters,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
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