Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

In budget deal, new signs of clipped wings among GOP's fiscal hawks

In budget deal, new signs of clipped wings among GOP's fiscal hawks

The House voted 240-186 to approve the bill just before dawn Eastern time, hours after the Senate had approved the measure on a 71-28 vote.

Now it is only necessary that it be signed by President Trump so that government institutions can open normally.

The Senate passed a two-year budget deal in the wee hours of Friday morning - after the government was forced to shut down at midnight due to a political stunt by Sen. However, despite the early morning vote, the government still was not able to avoid a brief shutdown overnight. Trump said in September that he would end by March 5 former Democratic President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects the Dreamers from deportation. "Now we have Republicans hand-in-hand with Democrats offering us trillion-dollar deficits".

"We try to refrain from red lines and threats and any of that". Kentucky's Rand Paul objected to the budget deal because it increases the deficit.

But the deficit spending in the bill will add more red ink to Washington's balance sheet and further underscore a shift in Republican thinking that Paul was trying to draw attention to.

Paul had demanded a vote to restore budget caps that limit congressional spending to those enacted into law in 2011.

"I took this position because I was quite critical of President Obama's one trillion dollar deficit", he said. Paul and other fiscal hawks criticized what they saw as a hypocritical turn in the Republican Party, which some see as the party of fiscal responsibility.

After an all-night session of debating and voting, the bill ending the shutdown finally won House passage only after Democrats provided enough votes to offset the opposition of 67 Republicans, a remarkable rebellion in the party's ranks.

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But Democrats also had their divisions and wrangling, largely with liberal upset the measure were not tied to any plans to assist the "Dreamer" immigrants.

Pelosi, taking a page from the playbook of filibustering senators, tried to leverage the minority's role by commandeering the House floor earlier in the week in a last-ditch effort to push Speaker Paul D. Ryan to provide the same commitment to address the issue that McConnell had given in the Senate. This bill is a BIG VICTORY for our Military, but much waste in order to get Democrat votes.

A leader of the GOP's fiscal conservatives, Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina, said he understands the frustration.

That now sets up a chance for both sides to offer amendments that will compete for 60 votes - the threshold to advance legislation in the Senate. The effects were expected to be minimal given that it started and is expected to finish with Trump's signature before most of the federal workforce arrives at work Friday morning.

In the House, many Democrats remain dubious because the bill does not offer relief to Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, who were protected from deportation by Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Trump rescinded past year.

The measure boosts both defense and nondefense accounts, and unleashes new funding for the opioid crisis, infrastructure investments in roads, bridges and broadband and multiyear funds for community health centers and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Republican Representative Kristi Noem told Reuters she voted against the bill because it raises non-defence spending and extends the federal borrowing authority.

The debt ceiling will be raised by the appropriate amount until March 2019. "I hope that we will end up passing something".

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