Democrats have leverage over Paul Ryan

Congress stumbles into shutdown

Congress stumbles into shutdown

While most of America was asleep, the federal government suffered its second shutdown in less than a month, as one Republican Senator prevented action in Congress to avoid a budget lapse at midnight, forcing the House and Senate to work through the night to restore funding, ensuring that government offices would be open on Friday.

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. The deal would also end - at least for a while - the prolonged congressional cycle of fiscal standoffs and short-term spending patches.

The government has until midnight to pass a bipartisan budget deal that would increase spending by $300 billion over the next two years.

Republican leaders said earlier Thursday that Paul wants a vote on an amendment critical of the overall agreement, but they can not give him the vote even if they wanted to do so because it requires consent from all senators.

As for the details of the budget agreement approved early Friday, it would funnel $165 billion in new money over the next two years to the Pentagon, along with $131 billion in new spending for domestic programs.

"If you're against (Barack) Obama's deficits, but you're for the Republican deficits, isn't that the very definition of hypocrisy?" he boomed, adding that he wants his fellow lawmakers "to be uncomfortable".

A number of more conservative GOP lawmakers in the House were ready to vote against the bill, but Republicans were counting on a number of Democrats to vote for the plan, and keep it on track.

Democratic leadership is telling members to vote against the package. If a proposal can garner 60 votes, it will pass the Senate but face an uncertain fate in the future.

Despite simmering rebellion among Republicans and Democrats over a bipartisan budget agreement struck on Wednesday to end the logjam, the Senate had been aiming to vote on the deal later Thursday before sending it to the House.


Failure to agree on spending led to a partial three-day shutdown of government agencies last month.

Republicans and Democrats said they were making progress, however, on a budget deal that would set new, higher spending limits for defense and non-defense programs.

Senate Democrats were expected to balk at the House's bill's inclusion of an increase in Pentagon funding through September 30, the end of the current fiscal year, but exclusion of any increase in non-defense spending.

Pelosi said she would not back the proposed deal unless Ryan committed to allow a vote on protecting Dreamers.

"I'm confident there's not going to be a government shutdown, and there shouldn't be", Collins said. It raises the federal debt limit until March 2019 and adds $90 billion in disaster relief. "I want people to feel uncomfortable".

"Our Dreamers hang in limbo, with a cruel cloud of fear and uncertainty above them", Pelosi said.

But it may require Ryan to give the same guarantee that Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave to the Senate Democrats: an open debate on legislation dealing with the Dreamers. All they have to do - I told him this at 11:00 a.m. this morning - give me 15 minutes to debate, 15 minutes to vote and we could have been done by noon.

Trump a year ago ordered those protections removed by March 5, although a federal court has blocked his administration from ending the program. He objects to 300 billion dollars in deficit spending in the bill.

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