Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Government shutdown ends. Congress authorizes trillion-dollar deficit, raises debt ceiling

Government shutdown ends. Congress authorizes trillion-dollar deficit, raises debt ceiling

The U.S. House of Representatives early on Friday approved a bill to fund the federal government through March 23 and to increase overall spending limits over two years, sending the legislation to President Donald Trump. In the end, following the brief shutdown, the Senate approved the bill 73-26, with the House voting 240-186. Trump is expected to sign the bill into law.

Trump tweeted early Friday that he had signed the budget deal to reopen the government, a little more than eight hours after the shutdown technically began.

The brief shutdown follows a three-day shutdown last month that came about because of numerous same spending and social issues.

But both of Louisiana's USA senators cast votes against the package, decrying the deficit-boosting two-year agreement as reckless spending.

Republicans disagreed with former President Barack Obama's trillion-dollar deficits, but it appears they support their own, with the exception of Sen.

"There's no secret plan here to try to push this in any direction, and the Senate's going to work its will", McConnell said.

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Paul, however, voted in favor of President Trump's tax reform, which is projected to increase the deficit by at least $1 trillion.

While speaking against the Senate bill, Paul railed against the procedure in which it was taken onto the floor-he lamented the last-second nature of the bill-and criticized a lack of discussion regarding amendments being added to it. Paul wanted to add an amendment to the bill that would set budget caps to the spending bill.

"I don't know why we are basically burning time here", Mr Cornyn said.

Paul, a budget hawk from Kentucky, defended his one-man protest, arguing that the fresh commitments to extra spending in the Bill were reckless.

Some Democrats, including minority leader Nancy Pelosi, also said they opposed the measure because it did not include a deal that would protect some 700,000 "Dreamers" - immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children - from deportation.

Paul's dissent dragged the Senate proceedings into the wee hours past the deadline, underscoring the persistent inability of Congress and Trump to deal efficiently with Washington's most basic fiscal obligation of keeping the government open. Some House Democrats, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, plan to vote no on the bill because it doesn't include a permanent solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program.

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The debt hike, in particular, is giving conservatives "heartburn", said Rep. After the first shutdown provided a short-term fix to the bill, the recent vote by Congress has helped federal agencies stay open with a working budget.

The bill was the result of a grand bargain with Senate Democrats, who also insisted in an increase in domestic spending.

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.

In the House, many Democrats remain dubious because the bill does not offer relief to Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, who were protected from deportation by Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Trump rescinded previous year.

About $165 billion would go to the Pentagon and $131 billion to non-defense programs. "We will solve this DACA problem", he said. "I refuse to accept that in order to address our most urgent priorities we must leave hundreds of thousands of Dreamers behind".

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