Government Back Open After Brief Shutdown

Government Back Open After Brief Shutdown

Rand Paul of Kentucky blocked plans for a quick Senate vote because of his spending concerns.

The Senate has recessed until 12:01 a.m. on Friday-past the deadline to prevent the second shutdown in less than a month.

Shortly after midnight, the office issued a memo advising agencies that funding had lapsed and that they should "now execute plans for an orderly shutdown". All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

With less than a month to work out substantial differences, the Republican-controlled Florida House and Senate on Thursday passed dueling $87 billion budgets for the coming year. Sixty votes were necessary for it to advance.

"Anyone who votes for the Senate budget deal is colluding with this President and this Administration to deport Dreamers", said Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, an Illinois Democrat and fierce advocate for DACA recipients, in a statement. Only a simple majority was needed. A vote could come in the early morning hours.

About $160 billion would go to the Pentagon and about $128 billion to non-defense programs. It also includes $90 billion for disaster relief funds for areas hit by hurricanes and wildfires.

It also extends the US government's borrowing authority until March 2019, sparing Washington politicians hard votes on debt and deficits until after mid-term congressional elections in November. The agreement doesn't include any language regarding "Dreamers". However, House Democratic leaders have already announced they will oppose the bill because it doesn't address the DACA program and the fate of DREAMers, leaving the door open for their rank-and-file to follow their opposition.

The bill stalled in the Senate Thursday night when one of the opponents, Sen.

Many lawmakers of both parties privately signaled the expectation that the bill will pass but by a razor-thin margin.

The White House backed the deal - despite President Donald Trump's outburst a day earlier that he'd welcome a government shutdown if Democrats didn't accept his immigration-limiting proposals. "Isn't that the very definition of intellectual dishonesty?" the libertarian senator said. Democrats in the lower chamber seemed prepared to withhold their votes to strong-arm House Republican leadership into giving them a commitment on an immigration compromise - a strategy that evokes their Senate colleagues' tactic that led to the last government shutdown.

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Sen. Rand Paul is holding up a vote on the Senate budget deal, saying he can't in "all good faith" move ahead with the deal without more debate. Paul refused to allow that to happen, upset that an amendment of his to restore budget caps was not being put up for a vote. In doing so, Paul forced the vote procedurally to occur after 1 a.m. ET on Friday, after government funding expired.

Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, attends a news conference with House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said the measure amounts to "doubling down on the irresponsible mentality in Congress of spend-now-pay-later". "This is what we believe in", according to one House Democrat in the room, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose the private conversation.

A visibly annoyed Majority Whip John Cornyn said Paul "will effectively shut down the federal government for no real reason". "They need to hear from us".

The colossal bill, which lawmakers have been negotiating for months, would be a game-changing piece of legislation, clearing the decks for Congress in dealing with major spending issues as well as doling out disaster relief money.

"I think we're on the way to getting an agreement and getting it very soon", said McConnell.

Senators were expected to take up and pass the breakthrough bill later Thursday, and then send it to the House of Representatives - which will barely have time to debate it before government funding expires at midnight.

After the vote, Pelosi vowed that the fight to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation was not over. Nor will they increase border security or provide funding for a southern border wall. The deal raises those caps, which were set by a 2011 law, by about $300 billion through fiscal 2019, which ends September 30, 2019.

At a late afternoon meeting, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California made it plain she was not pressuring fellow Democrats to kill the bill, which is packed with money for party priorities such as infrastructure, combating opioid abuse and helping college students.

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