Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

Government Back Open After Brief Shutdown

Rand Paul Government Back Open After Brief Shutdown
Patty Aguilar | 12 February, 2018, 00:20

If the House can approve the deal, the shutdown could be over with no impact on everyday life across the US.

US President Donald Trump signed the bill, ending the government shutdown.

On Thursday, however, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) used Senate procedures to delay the vote on the proposal until after midnight - after the deadline imposed by the most recent continuing resolution, passed at the end of the January shutdown.

Just three weeks ago, a similar failure to agree on a new budget in January resulted in a USA government shutdown for three days, with scores of federal agencies across America unable to continue operating.

The upper chamber of Congress struggled to overcome roadblocks to passing a government funding bill and budget plan when a conservative senator objected to a swift vote, and leadership opted to close up shop.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell waves as he leaves the Senate chamber early Friday after the Senate passed a budget deal.

Politicians from both opposing parties criticised Senator Paul for slowing the bill up and provoking the shutdown.

Ryan committed to bringing up an immigration bill, but only after the budget agreement passed.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who had opposed earlier versions of the bill that cut domestic and disaster relief spending, also claimed victory.

"A country can not go on forever spending money this way", said Paul. "Now we have Republicans hand-in-hand with Democrats offering us trillion-dollar deficits".

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"I can't in all good honesty, in all good faith, just look the other way just because my party is now complicit in the deficits". "Isn't that the very definition of intellectual dishonesty?".

The Washington Post put the figure at half a trillion dollars.

Rep. Bill Flores issued a statement praising the passage of the bill.

It also extends the USA government's borrowing authority until March 2019, sparing Washington politicians hard votes on debt and deficits until after mid-term congressional elections in November.

Why were some Democrats unhappy?

While the Senate will start a wide open debate on immigration next Monday, it's not clear when the House will work on DACA and the Dreamers, as Democrats repeatedly voiced their frustration.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's Republicans needed help from Democrats to pass the bill. On Wednesday, Pelosi set a record on the House floor, speaking uninterrupted for eight hours about the need for protections for the immigrants.

IL representative Luis Gutierrez, one of the leading congressional advocates for immigrants, urged colleagues to vote against the plan.

None of the added spending will be offset by budget savings elsewhere or revenue increases, relying instead on government borrowing. But with American workers expected to gain their first boost from the recent tax changes in their paychecks this month, the Trump administration will be hoping that the short-term boost overrides any concerns about the long-term health of the economy. Essential personnel would stay in operations.

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