Shutdown Ends: Trump Signs Budget Bill


United States President Donald Trump signed off on a bipartisan two-year budget bill on Friday morning, following a short federal government shutdown that started at midnight largely due to an unexpected Senate delay. 

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul held up the Senate from voting on the massive plan over complaints his party was being hypocritical for increasing deficits after criticizing former President Barack Obama for the same issue in 2013.

“I can’t in all good honesty, in all good faith, just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits,” Mr. Paul said as the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the bill would cost some $320 billion, mostly in the first year.

The Senate voted 71 to 28 to approve the budget bill early on Friday before it was sent to the House of Representatives who voted 240 in favor and 186 against.

Needing Democrat assistance, the Republicans managed to receive 73 Democratic Party votes, with 67 Republicans voting against the budget bill.

Congress then sent it to Mr. Trump, who approved the budget.

What’s in the budget?

The massive spending bill has been described as “game-changing” legislation that allows for Congress to switch focus from major spending issues to other objectives that will be brought forward.

The budget agreement props up the debt ceiling, raises budget caps by $300 billion over the next 24 months, sends some $165 billion to the Pentagon, $131 billion to non-defense programs, and just short of $90 billion on domestic disaster relief.

The budget was partnered with a temporary spending bill that keeps the government running until March, when the legislation comes into effect until the same month in 2020.

Specified spending comes down to appropriation committees that will designate where money will go but funding has been set for the following areas:

  • $10 for infrastructure investment
  • $2.9 billion for child care
  • $3 billion to combat opioid, substance abuse

More details to follow. Image of Donald Trump from previous files.