Early Friday morning President Donald Trump signed a major budget deal that lawmakers had been negotiating for months. This move came hours after Congress voted to end the last, brief government shutdown overnight, according to CNN.
“Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more,” said Trump in an early morning tweet.
Just signed Bill. Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more. First time this has happened in a long time. Also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2018
Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul had prevented the deal from passing Thursday, sending the government into a brief shutdown. The deal includes about $300 billion in additional funds over two years for military and nonmilitary programs, almost $90 billion in disaster relief in response to last year’s hurricanes and wildfires, and a higher statutory debt ceiling.
The House of Representatives voted 240-186 on the bill, with 73 Democratic House members voting for the bill, and 67 House Republicans voting against it.
Sen. Rand Paul was angered at the huge spending increases at the center of the accord, and delayed passage for hours with a demand to vote on an amendment that would have kept in place the strict caps on spending that the deal raises.
“The reason I’m here tonight is to put people on the spot,” Paul said Thursday night. “I want people to feel uncomfortable. I want them to have to answer people at home who said, ‘How come you were against President Obama’s deficits and then how come you’re for Republican deficits?’”
The bill keeps the government running until late March, and included in the funding is $10 billion to invest in infrastructure, $2.9 billion for child care and $3 billion to combat opioid and substance abuse.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, criticized Paul on Twitter. “It appears ‘General’ @RandPaul is at it again. He just called for the immediate withdrawal of all forces from Afghanistan as a way to give the US military a pay raise,” Graham tweeted. “Fortunately, only ‘General’ Paul — and the Taliban – think that’s a good idea.”
The deal should pave the way for a measure of stability through September 2019 after months of lurching from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis, according to The New York Times. The Times also reported that President Trump would get to boast of a huge increase in military spending, long promised, but his desire to more broadly reorder the government with deep cuts to programs like environmental protection, health research, and foreign aid seemed to be dead for now — as was any semblance of fiscal austerity.
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