Last Updated Jan 22, 2018 6:55 PM EST
WASHINGTON -- The federal government is reopening nearly three days after a dispute over immigration forced it to shut down.to fund the government for a few more weeks and Democrats wanted until next month.
It took 60 hours of strained negotiations and shuttle diplomacy just to get the government reopened. The bargain is a deal to fund the government until Feb. 8 and a promise from Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he would bring a bill protecting so-called Dreamers up for debate and a vote.
Sixteen progressive senators -- including several presidential hopefuls -- wanted Democratic leaders to hold out for more. California Sen. Kamala Harris said McConnell's vow fell far short of an "ironclad guarantee." But with many national parks closed and hundreds of thousands of workers furloughed -- including congressional aides -- most lawmakers said the offer was good enough.
"There's no way the Democrats caved," said Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio. "I think the Democrats got a better deal than people expected."
Four congressional leaders will now have 17 days to craft a plan protecting the Dreamers. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is one of the negotiators.
"We've been in a meeting every single day," McCarthy said. "We're working towards it. We're making progress."
But success is far from certain.
"There's a history around here of people screwing up immigration on both sides," said Sen. Lindsey Graham.
The shutdown left a lot of lawmakers feeling down on themselves.
"Everybody else in America is kind of wondering how some folks up here made it through the birth canal," said Sen. John Kennedy.
In an attempt to get back on America's good side, Congress is providing back pay to all those furloughed federal workers. The funding bill that passed Monday also took care of a big Democratic priority -- reinstating the Children's Health Insurance Program for six years.