USA shutdown exposes Republican contradictions

by Garry Watts February 12, 2018, 0:42
USA shutdown exposes Republican contradictions

The Republicans took the support of House Democrats to clear the bill with 240-186 votes, CNN reported.

While the spending bill's funding for the Pentagon has delighted the national security wing of the party, fiscal conservatives are up in arms about ramifications for the nation's debt.

Senator Rand Paul on Thursday blocked the Senate from a vote on a short-term funding bill which will fund the government through March 23 and a bipartisan budget package which will set a spending framework for fiscal year 2018 and 2019.

The shutdown, which started at midnight, was the second this year under the Republican-controlled Congress and Trump, who played little role in attempts by party leaders earlier this week to head it off and end months of fiscal squabbling.

A two-year, $300 billion budget deal negotiated on Wednesday would increase the funding for both military and civilian programs, and was deemed a fair compromise by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and the Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York).

Though brief - the government had reopened before most people had arrived to work on Friday, hours after the shutdown began - the timing of the shutdown was unsafe, coming soon after another massive sell-off on U.S. markets reflecting investor nerves about the USA economy.

The bill contains $165bn of additional defence spending and $131bn in domestic spending, including funding for healthcare, infrastructure and tackling the U.S. opioid crisis, reports Reuters news agency. "I can't.in good faith, just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits".

He added that the accord includes a sizable disaster relief package that will help Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas recover from Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey a year ago. 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.

"I ran for office because I was very critical of President Obama's trillion-dollar deficits", Paul said. We would cut back on military spending if other countries we are in debt to wanted the money back sooner.

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It was the second government shutdown this year after January's three-day partial shutdown over spending and the "Dreamers" programme that protects some young immigrants from deportation.

President Donald Trump is calling on both parties to support the deal, tweeting: "The Budget Agreement today is so important for our great Military". "I feel like this is a bold move, and the difference maker is the White House and the president".

The shutdown came after a one man protest from Sen. Really who is to blame?

The budget agreement is married to a six-week temporary funding bill needed to keep the government operating and to provide time to implement the budget pact.

But it does not include any solution for the so-called "Dreamers", hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants who were brought to the United States as children.

Senate Republicans have pledged to hold a separate immigration debate this month.

"My commitment to working together on an immigration measure that we can make law is a honest commitment", Ryan said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she would oppose the deal because it does not include protections for the Dreamers, young undocumented migrants brought to the USA as children.

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