Budget

Senate votes to end shutdown

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A midday procedural vote in the Senate cleared the way for a temporary spending bill to reopen the federal government.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly to end debate and move to pass a three-week continuing resolution, which would fund the federal government through Feb. 8. The bill includes a six-year extension of the expired Children's Health Insurance Program.

The motion passed 81 to 18. Libertarian-leaning Republicans Mike Lee (Utah) and Rand Paul (Ky.) joined 15 Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in opposing the motion.

The final continuing resolution bill passed by the same vote. The measure moves to the House of Representatives for a vote.

Democrats did not receive any immigration concessions in the legislation. But Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) promised that the Senate would vote on a legislative solution to the issue of expiring protections for young people participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative to afford legal status to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as young people by their parents.

White House spokesperson Raj Shah said on CNN, "I think the fact they are voting in favor of this proposal that they rejected a few days ago is sort of evidence that they blinked."

Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) supported the deal, but complained in remarks on the Senate floor that, "these days you never know who to deal with when it comes to the Republicans." He concluded by saying, "The Trump shutdown will soon end but the work must go on, and it will."

Assuming President Donald Trump signs the bill today, this restarts the shutdown clock at 17 days. By that new deadline, lawmakers are hoping to pass a full fiscal year 2018 appropriation and deal with the unresolved issue of budget caps. Without a deal on budget caps, many agencies -- including the Department of Defense -- will face sequestration. The Senate has 12 working days in that period; the House has six.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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