No Shutdown: Congress Passes Two-Year Budget Deal

Update: just before 6am ET on Friday, the House joined the Senate in passing the budget deal that would fund the government through March 23, sending legislation to President Trump that would end a brief shutdown of the government that began at midnight.

The bill passed in a 240-186 vote despite opposition from most Democrats, who had sought a firmer commitment from Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that he will bring immigration legislation to the floor for a vote that would protect immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation.  House Democrats just barely made up for the defections on the GOP side. A total of 73 Democrats voted for the legislation, while 67 Republicans voted against it.

As The Hill reports, Democrats tried to make GOP leaders sweat. They held out their votes until the final minutes, until it was clear that a majority of the GOP conference supported it. At first, Republicans were the only ones casting votes as Democrats sat largely in silence. Then the "no" votes ominously began piling up, only for enough Democrats to eventually neutralize the GOP defections.

Gamesmanship from both parties was repeatedly on display, with Democrats warning Republicans they could not count on the minority delivering votes. Republicans, for their part, repeatedly played it cool in public, offering confidence the measure would pass despite opposition from conservative Republicans who said the new spending added too much to the deficit.

In his closing remarks, Ryan noted the bipartisan 71-28 Senate tally, and said that 75 percent of Senate Democrats and 68 percent of Senate Republicans had voted for it.
Before Ryan spoke, Nancy Pelosi again called on him to commit to a vote on immigration, saying he acts more as a Speaker of the White House than a Speaker of the House. The early vote took place because of Sen. Rand Paul who blocked action in the Senate for must of Thursday with a demand on an amendment leaving previous ceilings on federal spending in place.


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The Senate approved a bipartisan two-year budget deal early Friday morning after the government technically shut down due to a midnight deadline which was missed due to Rand Paul - who held up the vote while insisting on an amendment which would keep budget caps in place in order to reign in out-of-control spending.


"I ran for office because I was very critical of President Obama's trillion-dollar deficits," said the Kentucky senator. "Now we have Republicans hand in hand with Democrats offering us trillion-dollar deficits. I can't in all honesty look the other way."

"I have been offering all day to vote. I would like nothing more than to vote. But it's the other side. It's the leadership that has refused to allow any amendments," he said. 

The new legislation contains roughly $400 billion in new spending for the Pentagon, various agencies, disaster relief and the extension of several healthcare provisions.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) implored Paul to allow the vote to pass. "Frankly, there are lots of amendments on my side," Schumer said. "And it's hard to make an argument that if one gets an amendment, that everybody else won't want an amendment, and then we'll be here for a very long time."


After the GOP left Paul hanging and the Senate recessed at around 11pm, the Kentucky Senator conceded as senators shuffled back into the Capitol, passing the measure 71-28 at around 1:45 a.m.

“I think it’s irresponsible,” said Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican, lamenting what he described as “the act of a single senator who just is trying to make a point but doesn’t really care too much about who he inconveniences” (Poor Mr. Cornyn had to stay up past his bedtime while another legislator defended the values his constituency elected him to uphold).

The bipartisan spending bill now moves to the House, where passage may prove difficult amid fierce arguments brewing between staunch conservatives and Democrats who are upset that the deal does nothing for "Dreamer" children in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

Nancy Pelosi even shared a strange anecdote during an eight hour Wednesday floor speech about a Guatamalan boy with "beautiful tan skin" and "beautiful brown eyes" that her grandson wished he looked like. 


Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader, told a closed-door meeting of House Democrats that she would oppose the deal, and said that Democrats would have leverage if they held together to demand a debate on immigration legislation. But she suggested that she would not stand in the way of lawmakers who wanted to vote their conscience.

Pressing the issue further, Ms. Pelosi and the next two highest-ranking House Democrats sent a letter to Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin noting their desire for the government to remain open and imploring him to make a public statement about the scheduling of a vote on legislation to protect young immigrants brought illegally to the country as children who are now shielded by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. -NYT


In January, Senate Democrats led by Chuck Schumer (D-NY) sparked a three-day partial government shutdown when they filibustered a spending bill over a lack of "Dreamer" provisions, while President Trump insisted that there would be no bill without an agreement to fund his much promised wall. 

During the shutdown, Speaker Paul Ryan ignored pleas from his fellow Republicans to include DACA provisions. 

"We will effectively shut down the federal government for no good reason," said Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), who was repeatedly ignored by Paul. "I didn't come up here to be part of somebody's club. I didn't come up here to be liked," said the Speaker. 

The over 600 page deal was released Wednesday night, revealing several provisions which go far beyond the basic budget. 

The accord would raise strict spending caps on domestic and military spending in this fiscal year and the next one by about $300 billion in total. It would also lift the federal debt limit until March 2019 and includes almost $90 billion in disaster relief in response to last year’s hurricanes and wildfires.

Critically, it would also keep the government funded for another six weeks, giving lawmakers time to put together a long-term spending bill that would stretch through the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The previous temporary funding measure, which was passed to end the last shutdown, expired at midnight on Thursday. -NYT

We eagerly await glorious clips of Nancy Pelosi arguing to help hundreds of thousands of future Democrat voters Dreamers. We're sure she'll have the full support of her activist daughter Christine who disrupted the peaceful transition of power with a failed Electoral College "coup" after the 2016 election.


anonymike Fri, 02/09/2018 - 06:01 Permalink

There are no government solutions, or solutions for government, other than its self destruction. Do everything you can to expedite the latter. Starve the beast of respect and funds at every opportunity. It is evil and the world can only begin to become a better place after it has gone and society begins to heal from all of the predation upon it.

GreatUncle DennisR Fri, 02/09/2018 - 06:23 Permalink

Yep but the end game is when the interest on the debt cannot be paid.

Now why we at ZIRP again?

Overall though from a normal positive interest rate environmentin the west we have slipped to ZIRP and every -0.00001% incremental slip took us to near 0%.

Is that trend not NIRP the continual -0.00001% so as they try to raise rates knowing this then they will at some point be forced to go NIRP. That's the bank bailin of all investors and cash banned.

Even then it will not change ... so it is structural of the system so can you go beyond -100% NIRP which effectively say it all.

In reply to by DennisR

cosmyccowboy DennisR Fri, 02/09/2018 - 06:50 Permalink

i logged in just to upvote you! the deficit MUST INCREASE and must increase at their preferred amount! if it doesnt increase at that amount it's called a recession and if the debt ever decrease by even the smallest amount it is called... wait for it... A DEPRESSION!!!

In reply to by DennisR

Davidduke2000 Fri, 02/09/2018 - 06:17 Permalink

they do not talk about the projected deficits for the next 2 years.

The budget is separate from the funding as the funding is only for 42 days, the government will shut down in 43 days if they do not reach an agreement.

However the budget is for 2 years.

my prediction is the deficit will reach at least $1.4 trillion per year ending trump term by $2 trillion per year deficit, by then the national debt would have exceeded $25 trillion with interest rates at 8% or more.  

Give Me Some Truth Davidduke2000 Fri, 02/09/2018 - 08:53 Permalink

The national debt should be $21 trillion by spring. It's been "frozen."

In this recent round everyone kept talking about the $20 trillion debt. I think it was actually $20.4 trillion - and that was the frozen figure. It can go up $400 billion when they "unfreeze" it and print some more money to "catch up." After this, if you round up (instead of rounding down like they have been doing) it will be $21 trillion not $20 trillion.

In reply to by Davidduke2000

Give Me Some Truth davatankool Fri, 02/09/2018 - 08:48 Permalink

No, the printing press was again protected and endorsed. The "Status Quo" was preserved and the can was kicked a good bit down the road.

Soon enough, stock "markets" will get this and respond accordingly.

Gold and silver will have to be contained lest any contrary signals be emitted, but by now this is the easiest item on the daily checklist of things that must be done.


In reply to by davatankool

GreatUncle Fri, 02/09/2018 - 06:19 Permalink

I see a country like all the rest in the world trying to justify spending in a zero growth world.

... that simple and the driving force for this ever increasing borrowing is they want to be liked but because they only hand it to one specially selected group the rest despise them more.

You grew a bipolar society of hatred and anymosity as one side seems to get special priviliges over the other.


Davidduke2000 Fri, 02/09/2018 - 06:23 Permalink

I got this off huffpost and I can't understand it, can someone explain why there is $140 billion for war ??

"The legislation is a massive spending deal. In addition to the six-week extension of government funding, it would raise spending by roughly $320 billion, providing $80 billion above the spending caps for defense and $63 billion for non-defense for this year, and another $85 billion more for defense and $68 billion more for non-defense for the next fiscal year. The agreement also sets up $140 billion in war funding and $20 billion more for other emergency spending over two years, and throws in $89 billion for disaster relief."

Give Me Some Truth Thethingreenline Fri, 02/09/2018 - 09:01 Permalink

Re: "just print the money."

They will. Today's vote just proves that "conservatives" when in control of all the legislative and executive branch print even more than when the Dems control one of these branches.

There is no bloc of either party that wants to or intends to ease off the money-printing spigot. Today's actions are pretty significant. Utterly depressing, but significant.

Big Government won in a rout. Freedom, liberty, lost. They go out with barely a whimper too. As usual, the sheep don't understand what just happened. I wonder if the Limbaughs of the world get the fact that their "life's work" was just summarily defeated and rejected? I have a feeling his ilk are not going to admit this or acknowledge this fact.



In reply to by Thethingreenline

BraceforImpact Fri, 02/09/2018 - 06:26 Permalink

 No one cares.


I have a serial number and am owned by a system I cannot leave. I am a slave, God's not real and I'm about to go to work to feed these criminals without consent and against my own will.


I'm surprised they even call it a budget. If I ran my financials like them I'd be dead or in prison.


Good thing they make 4x more than the average American subject.


Anyways,  debt is debt,  and mathematically we're fucked with two ways out.


Default, we will spiral into chaos.


Print,  we will spiral into chaos.


I pay 43% of what I earn to a corporate oligarchy that provides nothing. At least they let me keep some shitty fiat.


Whatever,  brace for impact

indygo55 Fri, 02/09/2018 - 06:36 Permalink

I was in Savannah yesterday and saw in the sky several tankers spraying like I've never seen before. They were so low I could make out and the see the shape of the planes; normally they are just the tip of the plume. These were not contrails as the naysayers will tell you. The entire sky was clouded over an hour later. Someone or something is getting more determined. Things are spiraling faster and faster. 

This vote is all theater. In the end we still got trillion-dollar deficits anyway after all that posturing. These people need to all be removed and a complete replacement needs to take place. All these actions taking place against the people musty stop. When will we stand up. I'm disabled but if I could I would. 

hardmedicine Fri, 02/09/2018 - 06:41 Permalink

The one thing that keeps coming to my  mind is that if a community could rally together, and take enough of their children out of the government funded school system, band together to home school them, then the school system would collapse.  Then how are they going to collect school taxes?  If the school system is collapsed then the school taxes (which are astronomical here in Texas) would collapse

Then the real estate valuation in the community would rise, people would want to move there. And once that momentum was accomplished I feel that a voluntaryist community could be a reality.


Does anyone here see this as an actual solution?

Does anyone here feel that it is doable?


Ace Ventura hardmedicine Fri, 02/09/2018 - 07:23 Permalink

As a solution it sounds viable. As far as being 'doable', I don't think so. School any other taxes....are not a line item that we can individually select to opt out of. They are forcibly extracted from your pay/real estate bill/etc in advance. Thus, even if you pull your kids out of the public cesspool system, they will STILL get their tax money. Just ask anyone who currently home-schools or sends their kids to private school. In other words, as long as the public system has access to funds extracted from the citizenry at gunpoint.....they are in no danger of 'collapse'.

Essentially, the fact that we are NOT able to opt out of the predatory tax system is a major reason why this downward spiral will continue. I read plenty of comments suggesting to just 'remove yourself' from the tax-man's crosshairs. Problem is....the result of the little people trying that is prison.

In reply to by hardmedicine