The Hill: House passes stopgap spending measure with defense money

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It would also deprive Senate Democrats of a tool they could use to stymie the Trump administration, which has been plagued by repeated accusations of Executive Branch abuses, including unprecedented nepotism and conflicts of interest, and obstruction of justice in the Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry into alleged election meddling in 2016.

United States lawmakers sought to clinch a sweeping budget deal Wednesday that would set spending levels for two years and end the immediate threat of another government shutdown, on the eve of a new deadline for federal funding.

Before the deal was announced, the House passed a partisan bill that would fund government for six weeks and the military through the remainder of this fiscal year.

Convening early this morning, the House voted 240-186 to approve the deal, following the Senate's 71-28 passage hours earlier.

But his administration had already prepared for a halt in operations.

The White House's Office of Management and Budget "is now preparing for a lapse in appropriations", an OMB official said on condition of anonymity, calling on lawmakers to get the measure to President Donald Trump's desk "without delay".

Beyond $300 billion worth of increases for the military and domestic programs, the agreement adds $89 billion in overdue disaster aid for hurricane-slammed Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, a politically charged increase in the government's borrowing cap and a grab bag of health and tax provisions.

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The measure was a triumph for Republican allies of the Pentagon and for Democrats seeking more spending on infrastructure and fighting opioid abuse. "We've increased the funding over this fiscal year and last fiscal year by $1.4 billion through CARA and CURES, but we must do more".

"I can't in all good honesty and all good faith just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits", Paul said.

"If you're against president (Barack) Obama's deficits, but you're for the Republican deficits, isn't that the very definition of hypocrisy?" he boomed, adding that he wants his fellow lawmakers "to feel uncomfortable" over the impasse.

Pence says he has been in contact with the White House legislative office and President Donald Trump about the shutdown, but indicates he hasn't been directly involved in conversations with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also hailed the agreement.

Rand Paul put the brakes on Senate leaders' plan to drive the agreement quickly through the Senate, repeatedly blocking a Thursday vote and provoking colleagues' frustration.

"I love bipartisanship, as you know", said Sen. "Hopefully we will not be in that situation again".

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He tweeted: "Just signed Bill".

Bloomberg reports that the increased spending would be partially offset by cuts to mandatory spending programs, according to the Republican summary.

"My commitment to working together on an immigration measure that we can make law is a honest commitment", Ryan said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan appeared to shrug off concerns that several Republicans might oppose the deal.

The government shut down for the second time this year at midnight Friday after Sen.

J.P. Morgan economists say the deal could send the budget deficit to 6% of GDP by 2019, which they said was "unprecedented" at a time of full employment.

The deal also includes additional money for community health centers that were created under Obamacare and are running out of funding, and would extend funding for a host of Medicaid and Medicare programs. Conservatives objected to how much money it spends, and Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, voted against it since it excludes a deal on immigration. Such protections are about to expire in early March, a result of President Trump ending the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. But Trump ended the programme last September and set March 5 as a deadline for resolving the issue.

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