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Senate & House Vote To End Government Shutdown

10 February 2018

"It's been an terrible long night, and it didn't need to be", said Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), as the House ended the shutdown just after 5:30 am, voting 240-186 to approve a two-year budget deal.

The Senate passed the measure 71-28.

US President Donald Trump signed a crucial spending bill Friday, reopening the US government after a brief shutdown, the second in three weeks, and a night of high drama in Congress.

U.S. Reps. Tom Reed and Lee Zeldin broke with a majority of their party and voted against the budget deal.

Rand Paul of Kentucky objected to the Senate proceeding to vote on a two-year budget deal that would boost military and domestic spending by hundreds of billions of dollars, saying it would explode America's rising federal deficit and add to the nation's more than $20 trillion national debt.

- It provides a long-awaited $90 billion infusion of federal disaster relief funds to help rebuild after the devastating wildfires and hurricanes of 2017.

Budget deal faces stiff opposition
Senate leaders had celebrated the budget deal as a sign they had left behind some of their chronic dysfunction. The money momentum has also helped fuel Democrats who are seeking re-election in potentially tough districts.

In a Twitter post that acknowledged the misgivings of fiscal conservatives, the Republican president said after signing the measure, "Without more Republicans in Congress, we were forced to increase spending on things we do not like or want in order to finally, after many years of depletion, take care of our Military" with additional funding.

"Democrats like to say "mañana"-tomorrow-when it comes to immigration", he said". His caucus has formally opposed the deal.

As of shortly after midnight ET on Friday morning, the plan was to have the Senate reconvene around 1 AM.

Republican Senator Thom Tillis said Paul could continue to postpone a vote for hours more, but that a vote was coming. But that would also allow other members to add amendments, likely resulting in the vote sequence going even longer.

The California congresswoman has called for the bill to include a provision shielding so-called Dreamers, young immigrants who entered the USA illegally as children, from deportation.

On Sept. 5, President Trump terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Obama-era initiative that has protected almost 800,000 of them from deportation.

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Just last month the government was shutdown for three days while the Senate disputed over the fate of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children and grew up as Americans. "The hypocrisy hangs in the air and chokes anyone with a sense of decency or intellectual honesty", the Kentucky senator said during his speech.

"I know that there is a real commitment to solving the DACA challenge in both political parties". "If anyone doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not".

Mr Trump moved to end the initiative and has used the suspension to push for a larger immigration deal. "We must pass this budget agreement first, though, so that we can get on to that".

Using his senatorial privilege to block the Senate vote until after the Thursday midnight deadline, Paul went to the floor - to the irritation of his fellow lawmakers - to complain that the negotiated budget deal would push the deficit over $1 trillion. Senate finance chair and Utah Republican Orrin Hatch said he had "a rough time" finding meaning in Paul's protest.

President Trump in September said he would end an Obama-era program that granted legal status and work permits to the DREAMers, who could be subject to deportation as early as March 5. Under Senate rules, lawmakers must wait an "intervening day" before they can vote to cut off debate, unless they get an agreement from all 100 senators to speed up the clock. "Funding for the government expires in just a few hours", McConnell warned just before 6 p.m., to no avail.

The lower chamber approved the legislation in a 240-186 vote.

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"We'll be ready", she told reporters.

Senate & House Vote To End Government Shutdown