Congress votes to reopen government, passes massive budget deal

Congress votes to reopen government, passes massive budget deal

Congress votes to reopen government, passes massive budget deal

Paul was a central figure in Congress being unable to pass a spending bill on Thursday night, leading to a brief government shutdown that ended after the Senate and the House of Representatives passed a two-year deal that will keep the government funded for six more weeks hours later. The House voted 240-186 to approve the bill just before dawn Eastern time, hours after the Senate had approved the measure on a 71-28 vote. The shutdown was the second partial government shutdown in three weeks.

The move still depends on the House, though, which first needs to vote to pass the budget deal negotiated in the Senate and fund the government.

As the midnight shutdown deadline loomed, Paul said on the Senate floor that he wanted to put lawmakers on the spot about government spending.

The deal is the fifth temporary government funding measure for the fiscal year that began on 1 October and replenishes federal coffers until 23 March, giving lawmakers more time to write a full-year budget.

After the vote succeeded, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell kept his word to move to open an immigration debate next week. Republican defense hawks got a whopping 10 percent increase for military spending, while Democrats can claim an equally whopping 10 percent increase for domestic, non-military spending.

It would raise military and domestic spending by almost $300 billion (€250 billion) over two years. With no offsets in the form of other spending cuts or new tax revenues, that additional spending will be financed by borrowed money.

Other Republicans were said to oppose a bi-partisan deal created to put an end to squabbling over fiscal policy, at least until beyond November's midterm congressional elections.

"I ran for office because I was critical of President Obama's trillion-dollar deficits", Paul said on the floor. For some fiscal conservatives who just spent years opposing President Barack Obama's deficits, that's tough to swallow.

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The major funding commitments come on the heels of passage of a massive tax cut law, adding to the concerns of those anxious about fiscal responsibility.

President Trump had already said he'd sign the bipartisan pact.

The debt ceiling will be raised by the appropriate amount until March 2019.

The Senate deal provides $70billion for disaster relief for Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, which are still recovering from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, respectively; $20 billion for infrastructure; and $6 billion to fight the opioid epidemic.

"For too long, America's men and women in uniform have faced budget uncertainty that has challenged our military readiness and threatened their ability to safely train for their missions", said Scalise, the majority whip, who helped shepherd the bill through the House. He urged Americans to vote for more Republicans in 2018.

But by Friday, Trump had changed his tune, saying he was relieved that immigration provisions - including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that Democrats are insisting on - weren't included.

"Although every big spending deal in Congress has good with bad, the hope is that the good outweighs", said Sen. House Speaker Paul Ryan said he supports the bill and says we are risking the military with not having the funding.

The problem, Harrison says, is that the budgets have been stretched by rising personnel costs, more expensive technology investments and other factors, compounded by the cumulative effects of more than a decade of combat in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East.

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