Can we stop pretending Republicans care about fiscal responsibility?

The Latest: Trump's new budget already outdated

The Latest: Trump's new budget already outdated

The US House of Representatives has narrowly passed a sweeping bipartisan budget deal, ending an hours-long government shutdown and clearing the way for huge increases in both defence and domestic spending.

A 71-28 Senate vote was followed almost four hours later by a vote in the House, which passed the deal 240-186, just after 5:30 a.m. ET.

With the clock ticking toward a midnight government shutdown, the 55-year-old lawmaker, ophthalmologist and veteran Senate pest made himself the sole obstacle to his chamber's quick passage of legislation keeping federal agencies open.

The second shutdown in less than a month ended early this morning with votes in both the House and the Senate. But it's not clear if there are enough votes in the House to do so, as liberals are unhappy about the bill not addressing immigration and conservatives oppose the increased spending.After the vote succeeded, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell kept his word to move to open an immigration debate next week.

Almost $300 billion in new spending that is included in the bill approved on Friday will mean 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. With no offsets in the form of other spending cuts or new tax revenues, that additional spending will be financed by borrowed money.

"I ran for office because I was very critical of President Obama's trillion-dollar deficits", the Kentucky senator said.

The massive nature of the deal perturbed some conservative Republicans because of concerns about the federal deficit. Several fiscal conservatives in the lower chamber joined with Paul in balking at adding billions of dollars to the national debt two months after passing a $1.5 trillion tax cut package.

The U.S. has far fewer troops in Iraq than it did 10 years ago, and the roughly 15,000 in Afghanistan today compare with a peak of 100,000 in 2010-11, but the trend is leaning in the opposite direction under President Donald Trump, including stepped up counterterrorism operations in Somalia and Yemen.

The bill also raises the nation's debt ceiling into 2019. The most promising outcome may be a narrow bill extending DACA protections for a year or so and providing some border security money for Trump.

He added that the accord includes a sizable disaster relief package that will help Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas recover from Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey previous year.

Democrats abandoned their opposition after three days, allowing the Senate and House to pass a temporary spending bill on January 23. "He just called for the immediate withdrawal of all forces from Afghanistan as a way to give the United States military a pay raise", Graham tweeted.

Still, some GOP activists anxious that the deal reinforces the notion that congressional Republicans are not delivering on their promises to slash spending and reduce the size of government.

But by Friday, Trump had changed his tune, saying he was relieved that immigration provisions - including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that Democrats are insisting on - weren't included.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moves next to the hard issue of immigration, with a procedural vote set for Monday.

McConnell said the bill had required "extensive negotiation", and while "no one would suggest its flawless, . we worked hard to find common ground and stay focused on serving the American people". House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., asked Speaker Paul Ryan in a Thursday night letter to promise he would bring an immigration measure sponsored by Reps. "I think we will", Ryan said on Hewitt's radio show earlier Thursday.

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