2 members of Hawaii delegation vote against deal to end shutdown

2 members of Hawaii delegation vote against deal to end shutdown

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two members of Hawaii's congressional delegation voted against the deal to end the government shutdown Monday.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, took to Twitter to explain her reasons for not supporting the agreement.

"There are battles worth fighting. Protecting DREAMers, reauthorizing CHIP, funding Community Health Centers, and providing parity between funding for defense and domestic priorities – without pitting one against the other – were battles worth fighting," she wrote.

"My consistent position has been to oppose any continuing resolution that did not include these priorities. I voted against this CR for this reason."

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, also voted against the short-term spending bill, which sets Congress up for another shutdown fight in February.

"The only thing more irresponsible than this reckless government shutdown is another shutdown in three weeks — which is exactly where we are headed with today's temporary funding bill," Gabbard said. "This bill was founded on empty promises and a record of failure to solve the problems that led to the shutdown in the first place. It prolongs uncertainty for federal workers, our troops and their families, DREAMers, and millions that rely on federal services."

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, supported the bipartisan deal to temporarily fund the government, which passed the Senate and House on Monday and was headed to the president's desk.

The agreement meant that most government services halted during the shutdown would resume Tuesday.

But by relenting, the Democrats prompted a backlash from immigration activists and liberal base supporters who wanted them to fight longer and harder for legislation to protect from deportation the 700,000 or so younger immigrants who were brought to the country as children and now are here illegally.

Democrats climbed on board after two days of negotiations that ended with new assurances from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the Senate would consider immigration proposals in the coming weeks. But there were deep divides in the Democratic caucus over strategy, as red-state lawmakers fighting for their survival broke with progressives looking to satisfy liberals' and immigrants' demands.

In a statement, Hanabusa called the shutdown an "unnecessary reminder that our inability to work in a bipartisan fashion has real consequences for our constituents." She said her top priority during the shutdown was ensuring Hawaii's 33,000 federal employees and 40,000 members of the military.

Under the agreement, Democrats provided enough votes to pass the stopgap spending measure keeping the government open until Feb. 8.

In return, McConnell agreed to resume negotiations over the future of the dreamers, border security, military spending and other budget debates.

This story will be updated.

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