USA govt shutdown for second time in three weeks

Government Funding Lapses While Congress Looks To Vote On Budget Deal

If the plan is passed in the House of Representatives and signed by the president in the next few hours, the shutdown could be rescinded before the USA working day begins on Friday.

Despite timing issues forcing another short shutdown, the Senate is expected to pass the bill. Rand Paul repeatedly held up votes on the budget plan, protesting its likely contribution to budget deficits that are soon to top $1 trillion. "Every one of those republicans complained about President Obama's deficits and yet now we have them out there bragging and pushing and doing everything they can to get their trillion dollar deficit through".

House GOP leaders said they were confident they had shored up support among conservatives for the measure, which would shower the Pentagon with money but add hundreds of billions of dollars to the nation's 20 trillion-plus United States dollars (£14 trillion) debt. I can' good faith, just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits.

The White House's Office of Management and Budget "is now preparing for a lapse in appropriations", an OMB official said on condition of anonymity late Thursday, calling on lawmakers to get the measure to Trump's desk "without delay". The move means that the shutdown, which became official at midnight Eastern time, should end before the working day begins. Vice President Mike Pence, in South Korea for the Winter Olympics, said the administration was "hopeful" the shutdown would not last long. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says, "We're in risky territory here".

Funding for the federal government lapsed at midnight Eastern Time after Kentucky Republican Rand Paul stalled a Senate vote on a far-reaching budget agreement to fund the government through 22 March while also eliminating caps on government spending and suspending the debt ceiling for the year. "I didn't come up here to be liked", he said. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) supports the measure, but many in his majority caucus have announced opposition to the bill.

In a "dear colleague" letter, Pelosi praised the new domestic spending in the budget bill, but added, "we can not allow our success in one part of the discussion to diminish our leverage in another".

But when it comes time to vote, the House may face many of their own challenges, like conservatives opposing spending increases and democrats holding out for an immigration deal. The proposal would increase investments in domestic programs and the military to the tune of $300 billion over the next two years, a major victory for Democrats concerned that a Republican-led government would slash federal programs.

Democrats have sought to link the federal funding debate to a permanent solution for hundreds of thousands of "Dreamer" immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children.

Senate leader had celebrated the budget deal a sign they had left behind some of their chronic dysfunction.

And liberal stalwarts including top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi were also in revolt because the deal does nothing to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

The House of Representatives must now agree to the deal. Protection for the Dreamers under former President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, expires next month. The bill increases military and defense spending caps to $300 billion.



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