CNN's John King: 'Why Did They Shut Down the Government in the First Place?'

January 22, 2018

After the Senate voted 81 to 18 on Monday to advance legislation to reopen the government, CNN host John King could not help but ask why Democrats forced a government shutdown in the first place.

"You don't get to say this that often in today's Washington, 81 to 18," King said, referring to the Senate coming to a bipartisan agreement to fund the government through Feb. 8.

"The motion to move this debate, again, effectively to move to reopen the United States government passing the United States Senate by a vote of 81-18," King continued. "That is overwhelming, and again, so a lot of people out there in America and watching around the world will say, 'If they can pass this 81 to 18, then why did they shut down the government in the first place?'"

The federal government shut down at midnight on Friday after all but five Senate Democrats voted against a continuing resolution to fund the government through Feb. 16. Many Democrats said they would not vote for a government-funding bill that did not preserve the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which provides legal protections to immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

DACA is not addressed in the deal that lawmakers struck on Monday, but most Senate Democrats agreed to support it after receiving GOP assurances that Congress would tackle the issue in the coming weeks. Republicans had argued last week that Congress should negotiate DACA, which does not expire until early March, separately after passing a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.

The three-week spending bill includes a measure to extend funding to the Children's Health Insurance Program for the next six years.