Congress Passes Bill in Vote to End Brief Overnight Shutdown

February 10 09:49 2018

The short-term spending bill with added amendments to set up a two-year spending package was quickly approved when Paul relinquished the floor, and moved to the House, where it passed with 240 yes votes and 186 nays just after 5:30 a.m.

The federal government had shut down for the second time in a month overnight, due to Senator Rand Paul delaying a senate vote on the spending bill past the midnight deadline.

For all the talk about shaking up Washington, President Donald Trump and Congress have resolved the latest budget crisis by the most conventional and time-honored of ways: spreading money around until the requisite votes appear.

Trump argued that Republicans’ slight majority required congressional leaders to agree to include “much waste” and increased spending in the legislation in order to secure support from Democrats. Rand Paul, R-Ky., delayed the vote on the bipartisan measure to rail against his fellow Republicans for acquiescing to more spending than they ever did under President Barack Obama.

It also would increase the government’s debt cap, preventing a first-ever default on USA obligations that looms in just a few weeks. That’s still not the commitment Democrats wanted in exchange for their votes on the funding bill, but Ryan has suggested he wants a solution on DACA that can pass Congress, which suggests the need for Democratic votes anyway.

The House was expected to take up the bill sometime between 4 and 6 a.m.

A carefully crafted, bipartisan stopgap funding and budget package was introduced with confidence earlier this week by Senate leaders, who predicted swift passage before the expiration at midnight on Thursday of current funding authority. Many Senate Dems took issue with the divorcing of the immigration debate from the budget negotiations as well, noting it as a major point of leverage. Sen.

Paul filibustered in response to Senate leaders denying a vote on an amendment that would have reimposed spending caps and prohibited a debt ceiling extension.

Just how many Democrats would come on board was a key question up until the final moments, as liberals were unhappy about the bill not addressing immigration and conservatives oppose the increased spending.

The bill includes huge spending increases sought by Republicans for the Pentagon along with a big boost demanded by Democrats for domestic agencies. Worryingly for house speaker Paul Ryan, by the time the Bill made it over to the House of Representatives at approximately 5am, 67 members of his own party rebelled.

While Paul was labelled irresponsible by many, he was in fact expressing mounting concern within the Republican ranks about fiscal profligacy. Senate Republicans have pledged to hold a separate immigration debate this month. If a proposal can garner 60 votes, it will pass the Senate but face an uncertain fate in the future. There also will be desperately needed disaster relief for beleaguered Puerto Rico and other hurricane-hit areas.

“He needs us”, she said.

The growth assumptions in Trump’s budget were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

On Sept. 5, President Trump terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Obama-era initiative that has protected almost 800,000 of them from deportation.

Sen. Rand Paul R-Ky. walks to the Senate chamber at the U.S. Capitol Thursday Feb. 8 2018 in Washington

Congress Passes Bill in Vote to End Brief Overnight Shutdown
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