Diligent work on the part of the United States Congress in the early morning hours on Friday has resulted in the passing of a $400 billion budget deal and reopens the government for business after a short-lived shutdown.
The bill was passed with a vote that took place before dawn by a margin of 240-186. This ended a shutdown that lasted shortly over five hours and was the government’s second in three weeks.
The problems leading up to the shutdown took place for the most part in the Senate. Republican Rand Paul went against his party and stalled a vote because he was upset with the willingness of some within his party to ignore budget concerns. On the Democrat side of the aisle, some more liberal party members expressed extreme displeasure that the budget deal was not tied to immigration issues.
One strong opposer of the bill was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi who unsuccessfully tried to force a separate vote regarding immigration. The ensuing suspense was a result of some Democrats holding their vote for hours.
Speaker of the house Paul Ryan encouraged his colleagues in Congress to not allow the country to endure a “needless shutdown” in an effort to flex political muscle.
The Senate would also pass the measure by a margin of 71-28 and President Trump has given his acknowledgment that he would soon give the signature that would cause the bill to become law.
The shutdown was ordered by the White House shortly after midnight sending leaders of both parties scrambling to find a solution before federal employees awoke for work. The quick vote ensured that employees will have a normal work day ahead of them.
The process became quite heated at times and many GOP members were at times visibly upset. John Cornyn of Texas even got angry at party member Paul Ryan who Cornyn felt was “wasting everyone’s time.”
Paul, undaunted by the criticism responded by expressing he was not present to be liked or “part of somebody’s club.”
The agreement on the budget has been combined with a temporary funding bill lasting six weeks that will keep things moving on Capitol Hill until the new budget can be implemented.
Highlights of the bill are increased spending for the Pentagon that was championed by Republicans along with more money to be allotted for domestic agencies which were important to Democrats. Both parties agree on additional money being spent on disaster relief efforts, health care issues and the extension of tax breaks.