Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

How one GOP senator - Rand Paul - could trigger a government shutdown

How one GOP senator - Rand Paul - could trigger a government shutdown

Congress has to reach a deal before government funding runs out at midnight on Thursday, when a one-month spending bill is set to expire.

Congress aims to avoid letting funding lapse for the second time in less than a month. The plan would increase debt limits to accommodate an estimated additional $400 billion in spending over two years.

"This agreement increases the discretionary spending caps by almost $300 billion over the next two years, perpetuates the abuse of OCO, and tees up another spending battle two years from now".

The president has said he supports a path to citizenship for 1.8 million youths eligible for DACA as part of a larger immigration reform package. Rand Paul, who delayed the passage of the bill by calling a vote on an amendment he proposed to prove that the planned $300-billion hike violated the government's commitment to rein in federal spending.

"I don't know why we are basically burning time here while the senator from Kentucky and others are sitting in the Cloakroom wasting everybody's time and inconveniencing the staff", Cornyn said on the floor Thursday night.

It also remains unclear whether the bill has enough votes to pass the House, as members of both parties have expressed concerns about it. "This is a bipartisan bill.

While I obviously cannot guarantee any outcomes, let alone supermajority support, I can ensure the process is fair to all sides", McConnell said. The Senate is expected to vote to send the full deal back to the House later Thursday.

His House of Representatives equivalent, Nancy Pelosi, told the stories of immigrants in a speech lasting eight hours on Wednesday - setting what is thought to be a new record for the longest speech ever made in the House of Representatives.

While Senate leaders plan to hold a debate for DACA on the floor beginning next week, there is a question of what this actually means for the future of the DACA program, and what this means for the spending bill, in the hours leading up to the midnight deadline. "The problem is when Republicans are in charge, there's no conservative party, and that's kind of where we are now".

The Senate's deal funds the government for the next six weeks and raises federal budget caps for two years, with the increase divided nearly equally between defense and domestic spending. "To me the main thing is funding the military".

"The bottom line is that we can now have the strongest military we have ever had", she said.

The agreement was announced by the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate and backed by President Donald Trump and House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan. "It's going to need bipartisan support", Ryan said.

Many Democrats are outraged that the spending deal would give away leverage on immigration issues, as it's not clear if a DACA solution would advance without firmer commitments from GOP leaders.

The two-year deal would provide roughly $160 billion to the Pentagon, allocate $128 billion to nondefense programs, and devote $80 billion to disaster relief.

Democrats previously wanted to pass a bill protecting hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation in tandem with legislation to raise budget caps.

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