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Neighbors Growing Together | May 21, 2018

Brief shutdown ends after drama on Capitol Hill

By Ted Johnson, Variety.com | Feb 09, 2018

LOS ANGELES - WASHINGTON -- The House passed a massive new spending deal early Friday about six hours after funding lapsed, ending a brief shutdown of the federal government.

The spending package will fund the government through next year, but it includes a $300 billion boost in military and non-military spending over the next two years as well as tens of billions for disaster relief.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill, which means that much of the budgetary drama, in which the government had run on months long extensions, will be put off until 2019.

But it will come at a price.

The surprise shutdown, which lasted for about six hours, was largely due to the opposition of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who kept debate open on the floor of the Senate for much of Thursday evening to protest the massive increase in the federal deficit. From the floor, he noted that Republicans expressed worry and fear over rising deficit under President Barack Obama but none of that under Trump.

Paul finally had to cede the floor under the rules of Senate procedure, and a vote came after midnight, 71-28.

“Tonight, you could feel the frustration and embarrassment growing in Congress as we exposed the hypocrisy of Republicans who are joining in an unholy alliance and spending free-for-all with Democrats at the expense of the American people and our party’s supposed principles,” Paul said afterward.

The House eventually voted for the spending package about five hours later, at about 5:30 a.m., in a 240-186 vote. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) secured 73 Democratic votes to assure passage. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democrats opposed the deal because it did not contain protections for “Dreamers.”

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