Senate edges closer to budget vote after Rand Paul blockade


WASHINGTON ― With the Senate expected to easily pass a bipartisan spending deal, and House Republicans generally falling in line, the big question on Thursday ― just hours before a government shutdown ― has become House Democrats.

Even if the bill were to pass in the Senate, it remains unclear whether the House has the votes to pass the two-year budget.

He also said that the deal has the support of the White House, although he did not provide any specifics in that regard, Efe reported.

The two-year deal comes a day before the federal government is set to shutdown, which would be the second time this year if lawmakers do not approve the agreement.

Paul took the floor to blast the increase in federal spending limits and said he would not allow the Republican-controlled Senate to hold a quick vote.

The outspoken Senator was complaining that his fellow Republicans had turned away from the fiscal discipline they showed a few years ago.

Paul ridiculed the budget deal, which will increase defense spending by $165 billion over two years, and add $131 billion in non-defense spending in that same period.

Which returns us to the issue of whether enough Democrats in the House will vote for the Senate bill.

"[Senate Majority Leader] McConnell has said that everybody who's got an idea [or] an amendment will get a fair chance to present that and [get] a vote on that", he told reporters during a conference call Thursday afternoon.

Support for the legislation in the House remained hazy as the Senate voted.

The Senate is now expected to rewrite that measure, pass it and send it back for House approval before Thursday's funding deadline-provided there are no efforts to slow the process in the Senate.

In January, the U.S. government faced a three-day shutdown after the two parties could not come to an agreement on immigration issues.

"I'm just telling people why I'm voting the way I'm voting", she said Thursday. The DACA program that protects dreamers expires on March 5th, but it's been dropped from the latest spending bill to keep the government open.

"I think it will all work out, but it's up in the air", Cornyn said. He believes that this deal could avert government's shutdown plan and it is now very unlikely.

The Senate will continue deliberating through the night with the hopes of sending a spending bill to the House at some point in the early morning hours.

The 77-year-old set what is thought to be a new record for the longest speech ever made in the House of Representatives.

The $300 billion United States in spending included in the latest stopgap bill will ensure the annual budget deficit will exceed $1 trillion in 2019, said the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a private fiscal policy watchdog group in Washington. "It reduces our deficit by trillions of dollars", said Shah.

The north country's congresswoman says she plans to support the budget deal reached by Republican and Democrats in the U.S. Senate.

The DACA program was initially slated to end in March after President Trump announced in September that he was phasing it out.

"It makes President Obama look like a master of financial restraint", said Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus. The measure would contain nearly 300 billion dollars (£215 billion) over current limits on defence and domestic accounts.