2017 shutdown avoided: Merry Christmas and pass the eggnog

It looks like the winning isn’t over yet.

A government shutdown was averted with the passing of a stop-gap funding bill by the Senate on Thursday. The spending bill completed the first year under President Donald Trump with an assurance that the government would be funded through Jan. 19, 2018, well after Christmas.

Just hours after it passed the House, Senators voted 66-32 to pass the four-week continuing resolution, The Hill reported.

The vote came after the passing of the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Wednesday, concluding a successful week for the GOP as lawmakers break for the holiday.

Not everyone was on board with the funding bill however, as a group of Democrats opposed the legislation because it did not include amnesty for illegal immigrants who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

 

 

“Congress could show some courage and protect dreamers by passing a clean DREAM Act. We have waited too long already,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren asked from the Senate floor ahead of the vote. “So my question to Senator McConnell is this: What are you waiting for?”

But 17 Democrats, including some up for reelection next year, did vote in favor of the government funding bill even while leadership, including Minority Leader Charles Schumer, voted against it. Republicans, Mike Lee of Utah and Kentucky’s Rand Paul also joined the dissent and voted no on the bill.

Paul joined a bipartisan group of senators in their opposition to long-term re-authorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) program which was extended under the stop-gap funding bill.

“Congress should not vote on any long-term reauthorization of Section 702 until both the House and Senate have fully debated meaningful reforms in 2018,” Paul said in a joint statement with Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Mike Lee, R-Utah.

The spending bill included a short-term extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and a waiver for the pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) provision in the budget to prevent the GOP tax bill from triggering Medicare cuts. and an extension of a controversial surveillance program.

Conservatives and Trump supporters reacted to the passage of the funding bill on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Frieda Powers

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