Budget deal ends brief US shutdown
Washington: A brief US government shutdown ended on Friday after Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law a wide-ranging deal that is expected to push budget deficits into the $1 trillion-a-year zone.
The bill was approved by a wide margin in the Senate and it survived a rebellion of 67 conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives thanks to the support of some Democrats. Those conservatives were mainly angry about non-military spending increases.
Trump's signature brought an end to a partial government shutdown - or closure of federal agencies - that had been triggered in the early hours of Friday as Congress was still debating the budget deal. It was the second shutdown this year under the Republican-controlled Congress and Trump, who played little role in attempts by party leaders this week to end months of fiscal squabbling.
In a Twitter post that acknowledged the misgivings of fiscal conservatives, the Republican President said after signing the measure,"Without more Republicans in Congress, we were forced to increase spending on things we do not like or want in order to finally, after many years of depletion, take care of our Military" with additional funding.
Trump also wrote that negotiations will "start now!" on an immigration measure that he and Democrats have been battling over for months.
The deal, the fifth temporary government funding measure for the fiscal year that began October 1, replenishes federal coffers until March 23, giving lawmakers more time to write a budget.
It also extends the US government's borrowing authority until March 2019, sparing Washington politicians difficult votes on debt and deficits until after mid-term congressional elections in November.
The Republican Party was once known for fiscal conservatism, but congressional Republicans and Trump are now quickly expanding the US budget deficit and its $20 trillion national debt. Reuters