'I'm leaving the Democratic Party today': Democrats are infuriated by their own party's deal with the GOP to reopen the government

  • Many Democrats are furious with members of their party for agreeing to a deal with Republican senators to reopen the government.
  • These Democrats don't think Republicans will fulfill their promise to hold a vote on replacement legislation for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program, set to expire on March 5.
  • "Democrats are still not willing to go to the mat to allow people in my community to live in our country legally," Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez said Monday.


Many Democrats are incensed about the deal Senate Democrats reached with Republicans on Monday to reopen the government on the third day of the federal shutdown. 

On Monday, a bipartisan group of senators, including 33 Democrats, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, reached an agreement to fund the government until February 8 in exchange for a promise from the GOP to hold a vote on legislation to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects about 700,000 undocumented immigrants from deportation. 

But many Democratic lawmakers and activists, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and California Sen. Kamala Harris, a likely 2020 presidential contender, denounced the deal, arguing that Democrats can't trust GOP leadership to fulfill their promises on immigration, the issue at the heart of the disagreement between the parties. 

Harris, who voted against the deal, said McConnell's promise on DACA "fell far short of the ironclad guarantee" she "needed to support a stopgap spending bill."

Senators who voted against reopening government

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Senators who voted against reopening government
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Senators who voted against reopening government

Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Senator Cory Booker, D-NJ

Zach Gibson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY

Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senator Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, D-VT

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Senator Ed Markey, D-Mass.

(Photo by Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Senator Robert Menendez, D-NY

Photographer: Aaron P. Bernstein/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. 

(Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

Senator Chris Murphy, D-Conn.

REUTERS/Mike Segar

Senator Bernie Sanders, I-VT

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Senator Jon Tester, D-Montana

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

Photographer: Aaron P. Bernstein/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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She continued, "I refuse to put the lives of nearly 700,000 young people in the hands of someone who has repeatedly gone back on his word. I will do everything in my power to continue to protect Dreamers from deportation."

Several of the Senate Democrats who supported the agreement are facing competitive re-election battles in 2018 in states that President Donald Trump carried in 2016, and others, including Virginia's senators, who represent large numbers of federal employees. Meanwhile, likely Democratic presidential contenders, including Sens. Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Kirsten Gillibrand, voted against ending debate on the deal.

Pelosi also broke with Schumer, saying she won't support any deal until House Speaker Paul Ryan promises to bring DACA legislation to the floor. 

"I don't see that there's any reason — I'm speaking personally and hearing from my members — to support what was put forth," Pelosi said during a Monday press conference.

Progressive groups, including labor unions and civil rights advocacy groups, simultaneously pressured Democrats to reject the compromise and stand united against the GOP.

"Mitch McConnell's empty promises are not to be believed," Vanita Gupta, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, told McClatchy. "The progressive movement is unified and … [I] feel intensely strongly that Democrats must continue to stand strong now."

Some Democrats voiced particularly strong dissent, including Alida Garcia, a strategist and immigrants rights advocate at FWD.us who announced she's cutting ties with the party following the Senate deal. 

"I'm leaving the Democratic Party today," Garcia wrote, calling Democrats "liars." "They're complicit w/ every single young person living in fear. Every pain Latino & immigrant families feel from here out is 100% due to @TheDemocrats not fully embracing us as American. Implicit racism is equally as harmful. I'm done." 

Other Latinos voiced similar concern that the Democratic establishment is abandoning immigrant communities.

"This shows me that when it comes to immigrants, Latinos and their families, Democrats are still not willing to go to the mat to allow people in my community to live in our country legally," Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez said in a statement

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Government shutdown extends into Monday
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Government shutdown extends into Monday
A jogger runs pas the U.S. Capitol during the third day of a government shutdown in Washington, U.S. January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22 : (L to R) Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) talk to reporters after a meeting with a bipartisan group of moderate Senators in Collins' office on Capitol Hill, January 22, 2018 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers are continuing to seek a deal to end the government shutdown, now in day three. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) speaks to reporters during the third day of a shut down of the federal government on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks from the Senate floor during the third day of a shut down of the federal government on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22 : (L to R) Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) talk to reporters after a meeting with a bipartisan group of moderate Senators in Collins' office on Capitol Hill, January 22, 2018 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers are continuing to seek a deal to end the government shutdown, now in day three. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
A notice about the government shutdown is seen on the door of the men's bathroom at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the first full week of the government shutdown in Washington, DC on January 22, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
An idle forklift and building supplies are seen infront of the Lincoln Memorial on the first full week of the government shutdown in Washington, DC on January 22, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) arrives at the U.S. Capitol on January 22, 2018 in Washington, DC. A bipartisan group of U.S. senators continues to work toward finding a compromise to end the federal government shutdown that has entered its third day. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) leaves the office of Sen. Susan Collins following a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators January 22, 2018 in Washington, DC. The bipartisan group of senators continues to work toward finding a compromise to end the federal government shutdown that has entered it's third day. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, walks to his office at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. Lawmakers failed to negotiate an end to the government shutdown Sunday despite a bipartisan effort to broker a deal, raising the political stakes as federal agencies begin closing at the start of their normal workweek. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A sign indicating that the National Archives Building is closed due to the federal government shutdown stands outside the building in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. Lawmakers failed to negotiate an end to the government shutdown Sunday despite a bipartisan effort to broker a deal, raising the political stakes as federal agencies begin closing at the start of their normal workweek. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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