Trump signs United States spending bill ending government shutdown

Trump signs United States spending bill ending government shutdown

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis called on #republicans to support the bill because it increases the military budget.

The bill, approved 240-186, has to be approved by President Donald Trump to end the shutdown that started on Thursday at midnight when current government funding expired.

Democrats also experienced divisions, largely on account of liberals upset the measure was not tied to any plans to assist the "Dreamer" immigrants, brought into the country illegally as children.

The measure increases military and non-defense spending by $300 billion dollars, extends funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program for 10 years, includes $20 billion for infrastructure programs and adds nearly $90 billion in disaster funds.

The "wide-ranging" spending agreement gives lawmakers until 23 March to write a full-year budget, and extends borrowing authority until March 2019, says Reuters. Several fiscal conservatives in the lower chamber joined with Paul in balking at adding billions of dollars to the national debt two months after passing a US$1.5 trillion tax cut package.

According to the Politico media outlet, 71 senators backed the bill, while 28 opposed it during the vote at about 2 a.m. local time on Friday (07:00 GMT).

Paul's objection drew an angry response from a fellow Republican, Senator Lindsey Graham of SC, who argued America's military desperately needs additional funds after years of budget caps that constrained both the Pentagon and domestic programs.

Mr Paul brushed off pleas from his fellow Republicans, who billed the budget plan as an "emergency" measure needed for a depleted military.

It also provides a massive $90 billion disaster relief package, and funding to address the nationwide opioid abuse crisis.

Trump tweets, "Just signed Bill".

The brief shutdown in Washington came at a sensitive time for financial markets. When the agreement was announced Wednesday, the yield on the 10-year Treasury rose, as did the US dollar.

"Our hope is that the bipartisan agreement reached in the Senate will be passed and sent to the House", Pence says, adding, "We're on standby as the vote approaches".

A prolonged shutdown could have spooked already-volatile equity markets.

The midnight deadline was missed because of a nine-hour, on-again, off-again Senate floor speech by Senator Rand Paul, who objected to US$300b (NZ$416b) in deficit spending in the bill. He had harsh words for his own party. "I want people to feel uncomfortable" voting in favor of big deficits. He said he could not "look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits". But really who's to blame?

Some Republicans are praising the proposed increase in military spending, while Democrats are hailing an increase in domestic spending, a tonic that was enough, along with the desire to avoid a second government shutdown in one month, to garner enough votes.

"There's a considerable irony here that there's so many good things in the bill and yet there's an outstanding issue that's very stubborn", said Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., ranking member of the Appropriations Committee.

The measure clears a path for huge spending increases for both the Pentagon and domestic programs. The bill McConnell chose was unrelated to immigration, after he had said he planned to use a separate bill for the debate.

And liberal stalwarts including top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi were also in revolt because the deal does nothing to protect immigrants known as "Dreamers", who were brought to the United States illegally as children, from deportation.

The budget will now head to President Trump's desk for his signature.

Trump urged Congress to act before then. Susan Collins was optimistic about the preparedness of the bipartisan group she was been leading for the all-Senate debate. House Speaker Paul Ryan said he supports the bill and says we are risking the military with not having the funding.

"My commitment to working together on an immigration measure that we can make law is a honest commitment". Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. "But the problem is the only time we discover bipartisanship is when we spend more money".

But Pelosi said Ryan's words fell short, accusing him of not having "the courage to lift the shadow of fear from the lives of" Dreamers who face the prospect of deportation.

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