Congress Votes To End Shutdown After Six Hours
The government reopened Friday morning less than hours after Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul spoke on the Senate floor through the midnight deadline, blocking a procedural vote on a two-year budget and spending deal.
The short-term spending bill with added amendments to set up a two-year spending package was quickly approved when Paul relinquished the floor, and moved to the House, where it passed with 240 yes votes and 186 nays just after 5:30 a.m.
President Donald Trump must signed the bill early Friday, ending the shutdown after less than nine hours.
Paul and other conservative Republicans opposed the bill that adds nearly $400 billion to the budget, raises debt limits and spending caps, and includes numerous tax breaks for select industries.
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“This is a great victory for our men and women in uniform. Republicans and Democrats joined together to finally give our troops the resources and our generals the certainty to plan for the future,” Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said.
Only 67 House Republicans voted against the budget, and 73 Democrats voted for it. Democrats led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi voted against the bill to protest the fact that Congress has not yet considered legislation to protect recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program
“I know that there is a real commitment to solving the DACA challenge in both political parties. That’s a commitment that I share,” Ryan told reporters Thursday. “If anyone doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not. We will bring a solution to the floor, one the president will sign.”
The larger issue for Republicans was the massive spending increase which adds funding for both the military and domestic programs. The 650-page bill includes
“The reason I’m here tonight is to put people on the spot,” Paul said on the floor. “I want people to feel uncomfortable. 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?’”
Politico asked Paul in an interview if he was worried about getting blamed for a shutdown. “No,” Paul said. “I think it’s an important enough thing that we should have a discussion over,” Paul said.
Editor’s note: This post was updated to show that President Trump signed the legislation.
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