Colorado’s U.S. senators vote to reopen government after deal to talk immigration in coming weeks

The government has been shut down since late Friday night as Democrats refused to vote for a Republican bill to keep the government open, insisting that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, due to expire in March, be addressed.

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SenatorS Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Colorado’s U.S. senators both voted to move toward funding and reopening the federal government through Feb. 8 Monday morning as Republicans and many Democrats came to an agreement to work on bipartisan solutions to a variety of immigration-related issues in the coming weeks.

The U.S. House of Representatives also voted to fund the government later Monday.

The government has been shut down since late Friday night as most Democrats refused to vote for a Republican bill to keep the government open, insisting that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, due to expire in March, be addressed.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, Democrat from New York and Senate minority leader, spoke before the vote, urging President Donald Trump and Republicans in the Senate to be open to a solution on DACA during the life of the new continuing resolution.

“The Republican majority now has 17 days to prevent the dreamers from being deported,” he said.

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, had voted in favor, while Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet had voted against. They both voted in favor of the short-term spending bill, putting them among 81 “yes” votes.

“The Senate just passed the fourth temporary budget extension of this fiscal year. This is an unacceptable and disgraceful way to run our federal government. But continuing the government shutdown would have been worse,” Bennet said in a statement. “We now need to ensure fair consideration of our Gang of Six proposal. Over the next three weeks, our focus should be on building support for this legislation so that it has the 60 votes required to pass the Senate.”

“No” votes included two Republicans — Sens. Mike Lee and Rand Paul of Utah and Kentucky — and 16 Democrats. Among the Democrats voting no were every senator rumored to be even remotely interested in running for president in 2020.

President Donald J. Trump must now sign the bill before the government can officially reopen. It’s not immediately clear when Colorado’s federal employees, buildings and functions would resume their work and reopen.

This is a developing story and will be updated.