Thursday, 16 August, 2018

US President Trump reverses threat to shut down US government

Rep. Cuellar Says House'Very Close on Spending Deal Rep. Cuellar Says House'Very Close on Spending Deal
Glenn Montgomery | 24 March, 2018, 16:36

Legislation to fund the government beyond Friday, which was on a fast track toward passage by the U.S. Congress, hit a bump on Thursday as Republican Senator Rand Paul employed procedural delays while he hunkered down to read the 2,232-page tome.

"The approximate cause of these two shutdowns we've seen: the parties could not agree on what is the mix of spending going to be in the budget bill", University of Memphis Political Science Professor Michael Sances said.

The bill will now be put before President Trump, who is expected to sign it into law.

US Congress has approved $1.3 trillion spending bill to fund government and sends it to Trump for signing into law.

It signals an end - or at least a pause - to the deeply partisan feuding over funding that has roiled Congress for months.

Democrats complained that in the rush to pass the bill, few if any lawmakers had time to read through the enormous bill to see what it actually contained.

If no action is taken by midnight tomorrow, the USA government would shut down for the third time this year.

According to The Associated Press, the bill includes $4.6 billion in total funding to fight the nation's opioid addiction epidemic, a $3 billion increase.

Mr Ryan was expecting "the biggest increase in defence spending in 15 years" - about US$80 billion above the current spending limits - a move that he said would reverse the damage caused by a decade of budget constraints on the armed forces.

In response to public anger and frustration over mass shootings, including a February 14 massacre at a Florida high school, the bill also contains modest improvements to background checks for gun sales and grants to help schools prevent gun violence.

Eleventh-hour snags on multiple issues, including immigration enforcement, border security, infrastructure and health care payments, had bogged down the release of the monster measure.

It provides $1.6 billion - far less than Trump wanted - for border security and funds to construct or fix almost 100 miles (160 kilometers) of border fencing and barriers, boosts infrastructure spending, and increases funds for school safety and student grants.

But the bill does not address the fate of young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. by their parents, a group who were protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) programme until President Trump ended it in September. Democrats said just $641 million would go to new segments of fencing and walls that double as levees.

And it leaves out a long-sought provision to stabilize the insurance market by funding subsidies that could lower insurance rates for low-income families by about 40 percent.

That all but ensures that the fiery debate over Obamacare will continue into the November elections. "I'm disappointed by this".

The bill was introduced late Wednesday after weeks of haggling, leaving lawmakers mere hours to peruse and vote on a mega-bill that will touch every aspect of American life.

The Republican-led chamber voted 256-167 despite opposition from the party's conservative House Freedom Caucus.

"Congress also increased funding for the Energy Department's clean energy research and development programs".

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