The Senate on Friday morning passed a two-year budget deal that raises both defense and domestic spending by hundreds of billions of dollars, approving it after the federal government partially shut down for the second time this year.
The lapse in government funding will continue until the House passes the bill, which also would suspend the debt limit through March 2019. It would then need to go to President Donald Trump for signature.
Sen. Rand Paul forced a delay on the vote until past midnight, setting up the shutdown. The Kentucky Republican said “we have Republicans hand in hand with Democrats offering us trillion-dollar deficits. I can’t in all honesty look the other way.”
The Senate voted 71 to 28 to approve the measure and send it to the House. But its future there is uncertain. Conservatives dislike how much money it spends and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has said she’ll vote against it. Still, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday he believes there are sufficient votes for the sweeping bill.
The deal announced Wednesday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer would raise overall spending caps by about $300 billion over two years. In addition to punting the next vote on the debt limit until after November’s midterm elections, the bill also funnels billions of dollars to infrastructure projects and efforts to fight the opioid crisis, and repeals a cost-control board set up by President Barack Obama’s health-care law.
The bill doesn’t address immigration issues including protecting young, undocumented immigrants dubbed Dreamers. Pelosi had demanded a vote on Dreamers before supporting the deal. Ryan said that he would bring a bill to the floor that Trump supports.
Budget analysts warn that the deal would herald the return of trillion-dollar deficits. When the agreement was announced Wednesday, the yield on the 10-year Treasury
rose, as did the U.S. dollar
If not resolved quickly, the partial shutdown could spook already-volatile stock markets. On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
lost 1,032 points, or 4.2%. Inflation concerns and rising rates are blamed for the selloff, but some analysts have noted equities were due for a pullback after gains in January and last year.
The bill now moves to the House, where a vote time hasn’t been set.
The deal approved by the Senate was included in a short-term funding bill keeping the government open through March 23. If the House approves it, lawmakers will have six weeks to write detailed legislation with funding at the new levels.