US Senate Passes Budget Bill to End Gov't Shutdown

US Senate Passes Budget Bill to End Gov't Shutdown

During the meeting Thursday night, Pelosi made a strong case to vote against the bill, lawmakers who attended the meeting said. Rand Paul, R-Ky., delayed consideration of the bipartisan budget package in that chamber past midnight.

They got nowhere. Neither did No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Cornyn of Texas, who at 10 p.m. EST tried and failed to get Paul's consent for votes before 1 a.m. Cornyn said Paul's objections were "wasting everybody's time" and said the Kentuckian would "effectively shut down the federal government for no real reason".

The legislation does not address immigration, though Republican Speaker Paul Ryan said again Thursday he was determined to bring an immigration bill to the floor this year - albeit only one that has President Donald Trump's blessing. Rand Paul of Kentucky went rogue and stalled a vote in protest over his party's willingness to bust the budget. He also called the bill a "big victory" for the military.

According to Yahoo News, the Senate voted 71-to-28.

But the bill's path through the House could prove dicey.

The Virginia Democrat said that Pelosi could have whipped against the bill harder if she had truly wanted it to fail and had she done so the number of yes votes in the caucus would have been smaller.

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Mulvaney told federal agencies they should execute their contingency plans and instructed federal employees to report to work Friday to "undertake orderly shutdown activities".

The budget office says it would recommend to Trump that he sign the measure into law if Congress sends it to him in its current form.

Pence is in South Korea, where he is leading the US delegation to the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics.

Just before the final House vote, Speaker Paul Ryan spoke on the floor and reiterated his commitment to "working together on an immigration measure we can make law" after a budget measure passes. Congress' failure to approve it by Thursday's midnight deadline left federal workers in the lurch early on Friday. Essential personnel would stay in operations. A sweeping bipartisan vote is expected on the measure, which is attached to a huge budget agreement, but the timing and outcome of a House vote are less certain. Military and essential workers would remain on the job regardless. The House had already voted on a short-term funding measure, known as a continuing resolution (CR), earlier this week that also expired March 23, but provided a boost in funding to the Pentagon through September. "Now we have Republicans hand-in-hand with Democrats offering us trillion-dollar deficits".

That now sets up a chance for both sides to offer amendments that will compete for 60 votes - the threshold to advance legislation in the Senate. Many members returned to the Capitol in the early morning hours - almost all still in their business attire - and sat chatting with each other.

Pence is set to lead the US delegation to the opening ceremonies of the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday evening.

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Trump urged Congress to act before then.

"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.

Pence traveled to the Middle East during the three-day January government shutdown, with aides citing the same exception.

In reaction to Paul's speech, which pushed debate on a two-year bipartisan spending bill well past the 12 a.m. shutdown deadline, both Democrats and Republicans have cast blame onto the self-described libertarian conservative for the second government shutdown in just a few weeks. "I didn't come up here to be liked", he said.

Enough Democrats -73 of them - voted "yes" to offset the 67 Republican defections on the bill to get it over the finish line.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, criticized Paul on Twitter. Paul, who has said he was blindsided, suffered broken ribs in the November attack and developed pneumonia.

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They will also argue that the tax cuts passed by Congress in December, largely helping the rich and corporations, will cause deficits to explode and lead to Republican moves to cut social programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

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