Trump signs sweeping two-year budget deal

GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN

US federal shutdown at hand after fiscal hawk's dissent

A brief USA government shutdown ended on Friday after Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law a wide-ranging deal expected to push budget deficits into the $1 trillion-a-year zone.

A senior administration official had said Trump would sign the bill before noon but was unlikely to do so before 9 a.m., when federal employees would be back at work.

If the measure passes in the wee hours of the morning, the government would open in the morning on schedule, said John Czwartacki, spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget, the agency responsible for coordinating any shutdown. The Senate passed the bill earlier February 9, 71-28.

Paul, a Kentucky Republican, said the overall budget bill that includes the stopgap measure would "loot the Treasury". The budget bill "also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!", the president tweeted. The budget plan also was drawing support from Republicans representing states that would benefit from $89 billion in aid to speed recovery from last year's hurricanes and wildfires. He came away with little to show for it save a brief, post-midnight shutdown of the federal government as it busted through another self-imposed deadline. The Senate was expected to approve the stopgap bill and budget deal after 1 a m and send it to the House of Representatives. If it does, the bill will go to the House where a vote should happen in early morning. He said he could not "look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits".

"If you were against President Obama's deficits and now you're for the Republican deficits, isn't that the very definition of hypocrisy?" he said, adding later, "Are we to be conservative all the time or only when we're in the minority?"

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Trump sought to address both camps on Twitter Friday, lamenting that the package contained "waste" in order to win Democratic votes - while vowing to pursue talks on the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Markets barely flinched at the last shutdown in January, but that was before a selloff that started on Jan. 30 amid concerns about inflation and higher interest rates. That's in addition to the estimated $1 trillion added to the deficit over a decade by the Republican tax cut legislation passed in December.

"Democrats have fought hard but, in the end, many opted to say yes to other priorities and leave Dreamers behind", said Frank Sharry, executive director of the pro-immigration America's Voice. Republican defense hawks get more funds for the military, while Democrats get extra money for domestic priorities like combating opioid addiction, the National Institutes of Health budget and community health centers.

"The ... caucus opposes the deal to raise spending caps on discretionary spending by almost $300 billion over two years", the roughly 30-member group said Wednesday.

Passage of the measure came over the opposition of Democratic leaders who demanded the promise of a vote to protect "Dreamer" immigrants. There's also $16 billion to renew a slew of expired tax breaks that Congress seems unable to kill.

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