President Trump signs budget bill to bring government shutdown to an end

Alex Wong  Getty Images

Alex Wong Getty Images

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a massive $400 billion budget agreement early Friday meant to end a partial federal government shutdown.

President Trump tweeted his thumbs-up for a bipartisan budget deal hatched by Senate leaders Wednesday, signaling to House conservatives they should get behind the compromise.

He begins the statement with, "This is no way to run a country".

Almost $300 billion in new spending included in the bill approved on Friday 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.

"We're making real progress on a spending deal that would increase the caps for both military and middle-class priorities on the domestic side that my colleagues have been fighting for", said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer.

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Schumer said the budget also includes $6 billion to fight opioid abuse, $5.8 billion for affordable healthcare for working families, $4 billion that aid college completion and affordability; a 10 percent increase in funding for healthcare including community health centers; and relief for dairy farmers. It ultimately passed the Senate by a vote of 71 to 28.

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.

Lawmakers rushed to limit the disruption and impact over the lapse in government funding, voting in the middle of the night to reopen agencies before workers were due to report to the office.

President Trump said he agreed to domestic spending increases that he called a "waste" in order to get increased military spending and end a government shutdown that was over before it started.

The bill came as the result of a 2011 standoff over the USA debt ceiling, when Republicans in Congress demanded spending cuts in exchange for giving the Obama administration the needed legal headroom to pay the federal government's obligations to its bondholders.

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Democrats blocked a stopgap spending bill in January, triggering a three-day partial federal government shutdown, in part to protest Congress' inaction on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama administration program that Trump ended previous year and is now set to expire March 5.

The breakdown came largely in the senate, when, after a day of inaction, Republican senator Rand Paul of Kentucky went rogue and stalled a vote in protest over his party's willingness to burst the budget. Really who is to blame?

But Pelosi said Ryan's words fell short, accusing him of not having "the courage to lift the shadow of fear from the lives of" Dreamers who face the prospect of deportation. They supported a short-term spending bill that didn't address immigration because McConnell promised he would allow debate on immigration legislation.

"This bill represents a significant, bipartisan step forward. It was very disappointing", she said. Such protections are about to expire in early March, a result of President Trump ending the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

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