Friday, 25 May, 2018

Budget deal ends brief shutdown, but launches fight over immigration, deficit

Congressional leaders scramble for votes on budget deal Congressional leaders scramble for votes on budget deal
Kenny Thornton | 12 February, 2018, 01:25

A brief U.S. government shutdown ended on Friday after Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law a wide-ranging deal that is expected to push budget deficits into the $1 trillion-a-year zone.

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. Still, leaders expected they could thread the needle to find the votes to pass the bill in both the House and Senate.

"I can not overstate the negative impact to our troops and families' moral from all this budget uncertainty", Mattis said just hours before the House and Senate approved the deal.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell teed up a pivotal immigration debate for consideration next week early Friday morning, keeping a promise as soon as the Senate voted to end a government shutdown.

Congress achieved an ambitious two-year budget agreement Friday, but in doing so, reignited ideological factions on deficit spending and immigration that are likely to flare as lawmakers turn to these issues next, ahead of a daunting midterm election season.

"Now we have Republicans hand in hand with Democrats offering us trillion-dollar deficits", Paul said.

"We try to refrain from red lines and threats and any of that". Rand Paul from Kentucky had filibustered the vote on Thursday. "I want them to have to answer people at home who said, 'How come you were against President Obama's deficits and then how come you're for Republican deficits?'" "I think it's important that we have this debate", he said.

Some fiscally-minded Republicans disapproved of the bill's increased spending, among them Sen.

While House minority leader Nancy Pelosi stole the headlines on Wednesday when she delivered a record-breaking eight-hour speech on the House floor denouncing the Bill and calling for a deal on immigration, it was Republicans' turn on Thursday.

The White House's current proposal - one that would put 1.8 million immigrants on a path to citizenship, but also boost border security, and dramatically curtail legal immigration - has been panned by Democrats, and several other bipartisan efforts have stalled.

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President Trump said he agreed to domestic spending increases that he called a "waste" in order to get increased military spending and end a government shutdown that was over before it started.

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

Dan Holler, vice president of communications and government relations at the conservative advocacy group Heritage Action for America, said the group plans to hold members accountable for voting on the budget bill through the group's voter scorecard.

Congress has been dragging its heels on passing a long-term budget deal, which lead to a short government shutdown last month.

According to Yahoo News, the Senate voted 71-to-28.

There had been hopes a new spending bill would be approved by the Republican-controlled Congress before federal funding expired.

The bipartisan legislation, which keeps the government running until March, raised the debt ceiling, allocated $160 billion to the Pentagon and another $128 billion for domestic spending.

"I love bipartisanship, as you know", said Sen.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., says the most Congress maybe able to accomplish is a temporary measure to continue the DACA program for another year or more.

The bill also provides $90 billion for disaster relief following the extreme hurricanes and wildfires this past year.

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