House, Senate Pass Deal to Reopen Government

Deficit protest caused brief shutdown
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2018 4:14 AM CST
Updated Feb 9, 2018 5:25 AM CST
Senate Passes Deal to Reopen Government
The US Capitol in Washington on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

While most Americans were sleeping, the government shut down and reopened. The Senate passed a bipartisan spending bill early Friday—almost two hours after Sen. Rand Paul forced a government shutdown by blocking the vote for as long as he could in a protest against deficit spending. When the vote finally took place, the bill, backed by the Senate leaders of both parties, passed by a 78-21 vote and was sent to the House in the hope of reopening the federal government by the start of the workday Friday, the AP reports. The bill,—which faced opposition from Democrats holding out for an immigration deal and Tea Party Republicans opposed to increased spending—passed the House by a 240-186 vote around 5am, restoring government funding. President Trump has said he will sign the legislation.

The deal, which funds the government until March 23, raises the federal borrowing limit and increases federal spending over two years by around $400 billion, with extra funds going to the Pentagon and domestic agencies as well as disaster relief. During the shutdown, Paul was strongly criticized by several senators, including some of his fellow Republicans, the Washington Post reports. "It's a colossal waste of everybody's time," said GOP Sen. John Thune. "He never gets a result." The New York Times reports that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she wouldn't vote for the deal, but she wouldn't pressure her fellow Democrats to join her. The impact of the shutdown on workers is likely to be minimal. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney issued the shutdown order at midnight but told federal workers to report for work Friday. (Read more government shutdown stories.)

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