Published: Mon, February 12, 2018

After brief government shutdown, parties agree to spending bill

After brief government shutdown, parties agree to spending bill

No. 3 House GOP leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana says Republicans still disagree about "how to handle this number of people that Barack Obama encouraged to come in here illegally".

Paul said he was asking for a 15-minute debate and then a vote on his amendment, which was certain to lose.

Hours earlier in the pre-dawn darkness, the funding bill passed the Senate, but not before Senator Rand Paul, a conservative in Trump's own Republican Party, blocked a vote on the deal because he argued it was too costly.

The bill was approved by a wide margin in the Senate and survived a rebellion of 67 conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives thanks to the support of some Democrats. "It's going to need bipartisan support", the Wisconsin Republican said. The previous one had occurred in 2013 and lasted 16 days. It was the government's second shutdown in three weeks, and most lawmakers were eager to avoid a big show of dysfunction in an election year.

And on Thursday afternoon, the White House reported that it was preparing for a closure of the federal agencies, which in principle is no longer necessary.

Republicans supporting the package include defense hawks who say military readiness has been harmed by years of automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. "I very seldom disagree publicly with my friend Lindsey, but that's a awful outcome", said Sen. "Now we have Republicans hand in hand with Democrats offering us trillion-dollar deficits".

"I can't in all good honesty and all good faith just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits", he said.

This would be "the very definition of hypocrisy", he added.

The brief and at times halfhearted outcry underscored the new political dynamic in Washington: A Republican president and congressional leaders unbeholden to an ideology on spending and deficits - and a party unwilling or unable to wage a large-scale political war against them.

According to The Washington Post, that figure is United States $500,000 million.

About $165 billion would go to the Pentagon and $131 billion to non-defense programs.

Why some Democrats are not happy?

"Three days ago, the House Republican majority sent a bill to the Senate that fully funded all our military needs and other critical priorities without additional, unnecessary increases in federal spending".

The bill was equally delayed in the House after Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., made an impassioned case to her colleagues this week to vote against a bipartisan measure negotiated by her Senate counterpart, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

"Fortunately, DACA not included in this Bill, negotiations to start now!" he concluded. The Senate approach metes out $266 million to more than 200 hospitals, while the House plan would concentrate the funds in 28 non-profit hospitals that cater to low-income patients.

But the protests were extinguished quickly by the realities of a Republican government led President Trump.

Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a key Democratic voice for immigrants and immigration reform, acknowledged to reporters shortly before the vote that there remained little to no venues for Democrats to use their leverage on DACA after this deal, though members would not give up.

"Do not conspire with this government", he said.

The budget agreement is married to a six-week temporary funding bill needed to keep the government operating and to provide time to implement the budget pact.

Trump defended the deal, but said it contained "much waste in order to get Dem votes".

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