The government is back open after both houses of Congress passed a new budget deal and President Donald Trump signed it. The government shutdown only lasted a few hours as Congress hustled to make a deal and pass the budget.
The passage came in the early hours of Friday, after the midnight deadline to make a deal passed. The process was held up in the Senate after Rand Paul (R-KY) gave a speech in order to delay the vote, in which he railed against the huge deficit the new budget would create.
The House and Senate approved a bill to keep the government funded through March 23, overcoming opposition from liberal Democrats as well as tea party conservatives to endorse enormous spending increases despite looming trillion-dollar deficits. The House voted 240-186 to approve the bill just before dawn Eastern time, hours after the Senate had approved the measure on a 71-28 vote.
Trump tweeted Friday morning that he had signed the bill, writing that the U.S. military “will now be stronger than ever before.” The budget bill “also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!” Trump tweeted.
The twin votes put to rest a brief federal freeze that relatively few would notice. Many who did quickly labeled it a pointless, head-scratching episode. The shutdown was the second partial government shutdown in three weeks.
The breakdown came largely in the Senate, when after a day of inaction, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky went rogue and stalled a vote in protest over his party’s willingness to bust the budget. But Democrats also had their divisions and wrangling, largely with liberal upset the measure were not tied to any plans to assist the “Dreamer” immigrants.
The Associated Press reported on the Senate vote, in this report posted shortly after midnight.
The Senate has passed a massive, bipartisan budget agreement and spending bill to reopen the shuttered federal government.
The bill now moves to the House.
Senators voted 71-28 to approve the deal, easily overcoming objections from Republican fiscal conservatives who say the bill marks a return to unchecked deficit spending.
The bill stalled in the Senate Thursday night when one of the opponents, Sen. Rand Paul, refused to allow a speedy vote.
Paul’s protest forced Congress to miss a midnight deadline for passing a funding measure to keep the government operating.