Government Shutdown Ends as Trump Signs Spending Bill

The Senate passed the bill around 1:45 a.m. on a 71-28 vote and the House cleared the legislation on a 240-186 vote just after 5:30 a.m. The president tweeted at 8:40 a.m. that he had signed the bill into law. The federal government shut down overnight thanks to a one-man protest from See latest on sports Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who delayed the Senate vote on a spending bill past the midnight deadline to mark his opposition to an estimated $320 billion addition to the federal budget deficit. The shutdown was so unanticipated that the Office of Management and Budget didn’t tell federal agencies to prepare for it until Thursday evening.

Shutdown
Govt. Shutdown

Congress moved to end a five-hour government shutdown early Friday morning after the House voted to support a massive bipartisan budget deal that stands to add hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending on the military, domestic programs and disaster relief.
The 240-to-186 House vote gaveled to a close just after 5:30 a.m., nearly four hours after the Senate cleared the legislation on a vote of 71 to 28, with wide bipartisan support.
But action did not come soon enough to avoid a See What North Korea Is Plotting brief government shutdown — the second in three weeks — thanks to a one-man protest from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who delayed the Senate vote past midnight to mark his opposition to an estimated $320 billion addition to the federal budget deficit.

The shutdown was so unanticipated that the Office of Management and Budget didn’t tell federal agencies to prepare for it until Thursday evening. The closure is likely to end up being brief and having only a slight impact on federal workers and the public. President Trump has indicated he will sign the legislation.
The bill would reopen the government while showering hundreds of billions of dollars on defense and domestic priorities, speeding disaster aid to hurricane-hit regions, and lifting the federal borrowing limit for a year. While the legislation sets out broad budget numbers for the next two fiscal years, lawmakers face yet another deadline on March 23 — giving congressional appropriators time to write a detailed bill doling out funding to government agencies.


Last month, the government shut down for three days in a dispute over undocumented immigrants brought to the country as kids, reopening when Senate Democrats accepted assurances from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that he would hold a floor debate on immigration this month.
The budget deal passed Friday was meant to break the cycle of budget dysfunction — before it, too, ran into dysfunction. Earlier in the week, the spending deal appeared primed for easy passage as McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) unveiled it jointly on the Senate floor with a bipartisan flourish and mutual praise.
But it began to run into trouble Thursday, as House conservatives rebelled over excessive deficit spending and House liberals fumed that this bill, too, failed to protect “dreamers” — undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children who face losing work permits granted by President Barack Obama under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) but rescinded by Trump.

President Trump
President Trump

Then, as an expected vote approached in the Senate, Paul began to throw up roadblocks, demanding a vote on his amendment that would demonstrate how the two-year budget deal breaks past pledges to rein in federal spending. GOP leaders refused to allow him to offer the amendment, arguing that if Paul got an amendment vote, many other senators might want one, too. Paul, in turn, refused to allow the vote to go forward, making use of Senate rules that allow individual senators to slow down proceedings that require the consent of all.
“I can’t in all good honesty, in all good faith, just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits,” Paul said on the Senate floor as evening pushed into night.

 

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