Rand Paul slams Republican 'hypocrisy' over government shutdown-ending bill

Frederick Owens
February 12, 2018

After Congress missed its midnight deadline, the U.S. Government shut down for the second time in 2018.

The bill, which had been held up by Republican Senator Rand Paul over objections to the impact on the national debt, was passed by 71 votes to 28 early Friday.

It was the second shutdown this year under the Republican-controlled Congress and Trump, who played little role in attempts by party leaders this week to end months of fiscal squabbling. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the agreement would add more than $300 billion to the federal deficit over 10 years.

The debate in the upper house of Congress over a bipartisan budget deal that will unlock funding for federal agencies is scheduled to restart at 12:01 a.m., according to a message on the Senate website.

The Senate has passed a massive, bipartisan budget agreement and spending bill to reopen the shuttered federal government. He said again Thursday he was determined to bring an immigration bill to the floor this year - albeit only one that has President Donald Trump's blessing.

In a Twitter post that acknowledged the misgivings of fiscal conservatives, the Republican president said after signing the measure, "Without more Republicans in Congress, we were forced to increase spending on things we do not like or want in order to finally, after many years of depletion, take care of our Military" with additional funding.

The package is not to the liking of some House Democrats because it doesn't address immigration.

The Democrats who voted "no", including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, were taking a stand for so-called Dreamers, young undocumented immigrants brought to U.S.as children who are facing the prospect of deportation without legislation to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. "At one point I got whipped so hard that the person in question didn't know that the vote was actually up, so we nearly missed the vote".

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From the beginning. The Senate had to move fast to pass the deal.

The Kentucky Republican, using charts to demonstrate myriad examples of wasteful government spending, acknowledged that he was unlikely to change the outcome of the measure in the Senate, where it was expected to pass.

No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Richard Durbin of IL, a leader in the immigration fight, said the budget pact "opens the door" for Senate votes on protecting the young immigrants.

"We'll be ready", she told reporters.

The legislation suspends the debt ceiling through March 2019.

For the hundreds of thousands of "Dreamers", the deal means that they their fate now rests on the hope that the Republican Senate leadership will honor the promise they gave to Democrats - to allow a floor debate and vote with the goal of finding a solution to the DACA issue. "She negotiated the deal, her team was in on it, she acknowledges it, she says they have wins in it and they were a 'no.' And at the end, her team broke".

"I urge Speaker Ryan to the Floor a one-day funding bill to keep the government open", Hoyer said in a statement. Many Democrats see the spending bill as their only point of leverage to shield those immigrants.

The Senate had already approved the bipartisan spending legislation that will extend funding to the government through March 23 and boost disaster aid funding by around $90 billion for Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico that were battered by hurricanes past year.

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