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House Passes Spending Bill Ending Overnight Government Shutdown

10 February 2018

The new budget bill would raise military and domestic spending by nearly $300 billion over the next two years.

McConnell and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer of NY have both championed the agreement as a bipartisan breakthrough that would end the destabilizing cycle of short-term spending bills that lawmakers have had to pass repeatedly to keep the lights on at government agencies.

"It has required concessions, sometimes painful, by both sides", said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-New York.

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.

Next, the hard part: Getting the Senate bill through the House by midnight.

Liberal Democrats object to the deal because it does not include protections for undocumented immigrants who came to the children and whose Obama-era deportation protections will expire next month.

Democrats blocked a stopgap spending bill in January, triggering a three-day partial federal government shutdown, in part to protest Congress' inaction on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama administration program that Trump ended previous year and is now set to expire March 5.

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He added: "Someone has to stand up and say, 'You should spend what comes in, we should balance our ledger.' That used to be what it meant to be conservative, but a lot of so-called conservatives lose their mind once it becomes a partisan thing".

Beyond $300 billion worth of record increases for the military and domestic programs, the agreement adds $89 billion in overdue disaster aid for hurricane-slammed Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, a politically charged increase in the government's borrowing cap and a grab bag of health and tax provisions.

The bill, which includes a far-reaching deal that increases spending limits for the next two years and raises the federal debt ceiling until March 2019, would break the cycle of government funding crises in time for what is set to be a bruising campaign for November's mid-term elections.

The House ultimately passed the measure on a bipartisan 240-186 vote just after 5:30 a.m.

A series of avoidable mishaps led to one Democratic senator calling it "the dumbest shutdown ever".

The first was a result of Senate Democrats' strategy on immigration. "Both parties", he said before ending his remarks at 7pm. It was the second partial federal shutdown in less than a month.

McConnell and Schumer figured they'd get that agreement.

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On the budget, GOP defense hawks were prevailing over the party's depleted ranks of deficit hawks, championing major new spending on military programs. Those figures would be slightly increased for the 2019 budget year beginning October 1. "It will help us serve the veterans who have bravely served us". There's also $6 billion to combat opioid abuse and improving mental health, $2 billion for research at the National Institutes of Health, and $4 billion for college affordability.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made history this week with her 8 hour, 7 minute filibuster demanding a debate on DACA. He said any pact would likely require some Democratic support to become law. Mitch McConnell agreed to keep any DACA arguments away from the negotiations after McConnell scheduled a debate on immigration in the Senate for next week.

"Let Congress work its will", Pelosi said. "What are you afraid of?"

"I could give a raise to every soldier out there if we just come home from Afghanistan", Paul said.

In the end, 73 Democrats voted yes, while 67 Republican crossed party lines and vote against the package.

"DACA's important and it ought to get done".

Schumer said the plan would contain $20 billion dedicated to infrastructure such as highways and bridge construction and fix, water and wastewater projects, and rural broadband.

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House Passes Spending Bill Ending Overnight Government Shutdown