The Financial Express

US government reopens after Trump signs budget deal  

| Updated: February 10, 2018 10:35:40

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US government reopens after Trump signs budget deal   

US President Donald Trump signed a major budget deal into law early Friday morning, hours after Congress voted to end a brief government shutdown overnight.

The House of Representatives voted 240-186.

The GOP-controlled chamber needed help from House Democrats to clear the bill, and 73 Democratic members gave it. Sixty-seven House Republicans voted against the plan.

The colossal bill cleared the decks for Congress in dealing with major spending issues as well as doling out disaster relief money and hiking the debt ceiling which was set to be reached next month.

The Senate approved the measure earlier on Friday morning.

The federal government briefly shuttered for the second time in less than a month overnight, after Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul prevented the deal from passing Thursday.

The shutdown came just weeks after Democrats and a handful of Republicans, including Paul, refused to support the last continuing resolution, causing a shutdown that lasted a weekend.

The effects from the overnight shutdown were expected to be minimal, says CNN.

Trump tweeted that the bill, which gives the Pentagon an additional $165 billion, was a "big victory" for the US military.

However, he said Hill Republicans were "forced to increase spending" in order to attract Democratic votes.

There was uncertainty about the timing of Trump's signing, and the Office of Personnel Management, which manages the federal workforce, still had an alert on its website early Friday morning that stated that due to a "lapse in appropriations, federal government operations vary by agency."

Just how many Democrats would come on board was a key question up until the final moments, as liberals were unhappy about the bill not addressing immigration and conservatives oppose the increased spending.

After the vote succeeded in the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell kept his word to move to open an immigration debate next week.

The majority leader moved to call a vote Monday to proceed to an unrelated House bill that will serve as a vehicle for a process unlike the Senate has seen in recent memory, where senators will be able to offer a number of amendments on competing immigration proposals to see which ones will secure the 60 votes needed to advance.

 But that will only happen if the House passes the continuing resolution later Friday morning.

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