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Unread 2018-02-09, 09:47 AM   #1
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Default After temporary shutdown, Congress passes two-year spending deal

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After temporary shutdown, Congress passes two-year spending deal

BY LEIGH ANN CALDWELL, FRANK THORP V AND ALEX MOE

WASHINGTON — After a temporary lapse in government funding that lasted through the night, Congress passed a pricey two-year spending deal early Friday that will also fund the government for an additional six weeks.

The government temporarily closed after Congress failed to pass a government funding bill before a midnight deadline due to the objections of one senator, shutting down non-essential government services.

In the end, a bipartisan cohort of lawmakers supported the $400 billion agreement. Shortly after 1:30 a.m. ET, the Senate voted, 71-28, to approve a two-year spending bill that would reopen the government, and the House passed it at 5:30 a.m. with the support of 240 members.

Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he had signed the bill, officially ending the brief shutdown.

"Just signed Bill. Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more. First time this has happened in a long time. Also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!" he wrote. He followed the post with a call for Republicans to increase their majority in the midterm election.

"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. Sadly, we needed some Dem votes for passage. Must elect more Republicans in 2018 Election!" he tweeted.

Congress now has until March 23, the next funding deadline, to write the legislation to accompany the spending deal that will fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

The overnight shutdown occurred because Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., used a procedural tactic to block the Senate from meeting its deadline.

To the ire of his colleagues, Paul protested the vote because of the large price tag of the two-year spending deal. The agreement is an attempt to end the repeated drama of short-term funding bills that have occupied Congress for much of the past five months. But it, too, was filled with drama until the end: Paul's stunt forced government agencies to begin shutting down for the second time this year.

"I can't, in all good honesty, in all good faith, just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits. But really who's to blame? Both parties," Paul said on the Senate floor.

In the House, the measure easily passed despite several days of outcry from Democrats over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program, or DACA. But 73 Democrats supported the measure, including many from districts ravaged by hurricanes that would benefit from $90 billion in disaster aid.

"There's a considerable irony here that there's so many good things in the bill and yet there's an outstanding issue that's very stubborn," said Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., ranking member of the Appropriations Committee.

The spending deal was hammered out between the Republican and Democratic Senate leaders. It increases domestic spending by $131 billion and defense spending by $165 billion over the next two years and suspend the debt limit for one year — until well after the midterm elections.

What it doesn't address is DACA. Per an agreement to end the three-day government shutdown last month, the Senate will take up DACA next week. House Democrats sought a similar agreement from House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., who insisted that he will bring up DACA legislation.

"To anyone who doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill: Do not," Ryan said at a news conference Thursday. "We will bring a solution to the floor, one that the president will sign. We must pass this budget agreement first, though, so that we can get onto that. So please know that we are committed to getting this done."

But Ryan has not promised an open and neutral process that gives Democrats the opportunity to help craft the bill. And most notably, President Donald Trump's support for a bill is a litmus test Democrats can't accept.

"Sometimes I think the speaker thinks he is the speaker of the White House not the Speaker of the House of Representatives," Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said just before the vote.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said it's time for Democrats to have "courage."

"Anyone who votes for the Senate budget deal is colluding with this president and this administration to deport Dreamers. It is as simple as that," Gutierrez said in a statement.

Fiscal conservative Republicans decried the price tag.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas., who is chair of the House Financial Services Committee and is retiring at the end of his term, called the bill "a monumental mistake and a sad day."

“With the passage of this spending package, I fear Republicans have ceded our moral authority to lead our nation away from eventual national insolvency. I cannot in good conscience support it," he said in a statement.

Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, was one of 67 House Republicans, and 16 in the Senate, to vote against it.

"The more we read the text, the more surprises for green energy and some of those things that we’re adamantly against," Walker said.

Some Republicans are praising the proposed increase in military spending, while Democrats are hailing an increase in domestic spending, a tonic that was enough, along with the desire to avoid a another government shutdown, to garner enough votes. But it's wasn't an easy vote for many.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., struggled with his vote but supported it.

"I think the military spending is incredibly important — probably a once-in-a-lifetime increase from my perspective — but the pay-fors are challenging," Scott said, referring to about $100 billion of revenue-raising mechanisms.

One of those offsets would be to sell off 100 million barrels of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve from 2022 to 2027, which some House conservatives say should be saved for an emergency.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., voted against the measure, pointing to the major increases to the deficit. "Anybody in the Milky Way concerned about the deficit has to be worried about this bill," he told reporters.

There were enough sweeteners in the bill to entice enough members to support the measure's passage. The addition of disaster relief brought Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who often votes against spending bills, on board.

"This latest disaster relief bill is the next step in our state’s road to recovery," Cruz said in a statement. "And I am gratified that (Sen.) John Cornyn (R-Texas) and I have been able to build upon and improve the bill that was sent to us by the House of Representatives to give the state of Texas the resources it desperately needs."
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With that in mind, here's what's in the legislation:

Extends current level of federal funding through March 23.

Lifts the statutory budget caps for defense and nondefense spending by a combined $296 billion over the next two years.

The defense cap would increase to $629 billion for fiscal 2018 and $647 billion for fiscal 2019 — a total of $165 billion over the existing cap.

The nondefense cap would increase to $579 billion for fiscal 2018 and $597 billion for fiscal 2019 — a total of $131 billion over the existing cap.

Suspends the debt ceiling until March 1, 2019.

Offers $89.3 billion in additional funding for areas affected by natural disasters in 2017.

$23.5 billion to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Disaster Relief Fund.

$17.39 billion to the US Army Corps of Engineers for projects to prevent future damage.

$28 billion to the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help rebuild homes and infrastructure.

The rest would go to funds within the Small Business Administration, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other agencies to help repair damages.

Extends certain Medicare provisions, including the removal of a cap on therapy services, funding for community health centers and rural and Medicare-dependent hospitals, and more.

Extends certain tax provisions, including from the new GOP tax law, and edits some parts of the tax code.

Adds four years of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program. The spending bill signed in January extended CHIP for six years, so its funding will now last through 10 years.

Adds funds for agencies above current levels to mitigate the effects of the short-term spending bill, including increased funding for the 2020 Census, the Southeastern Power Administration, the F-35 fighter-jet program, and more.
I'm interested to hear what everyone's thoughts are on this bill. It does actually seem to be a rather partisan bill (at the dismay of the POTUS). I wish it didn't throw so much money at our Military, TBH. I think the money is going to some good places that need it though like disaster relief, CHIP, veterans... It is adding a pretty big chunk to the deficit, though.
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Unread 2018-02-09, 10:24 AM   #2
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I'm OK with it. It's a much better bill than what I would imagine we would have had with any of the other GOP candidates than Trump.

The defense spending needed to be raised to rebuild everything that the previous admin had worn out by keeping us involved in those wars over his entire term.

I don't like deficit spending but until we get more GOP in congress we can't cut the spending that I think should be cut.
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Unread 2018-02-09, 10:32 AM   #3
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My approval of Rand Paul continues.

Congress should be ashamed... the spending is insanity.
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Unread 2018-02-09, 11:18 AM   #4
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My approval of Rand Paul continues.

Congress should be ashamed... the spending is insanity.
Rand was mostly posturing, but I mean that in a good way and I applaud what he did.

And yes, Congress should be very ashamed. This is ridiculous. Even with the market in a likely correction, the US economy is very very solid. The last thing the government needs to be doing is allowing itself to spend even more money than it doesn't have. Expanding the military budget by $165B? It's not needed and they should have cut military spending and pumped that extra "budget" towards infrastructure and education. That's where we need to be focusing our efforts for at least the next decade. Not the military. Not a wall.
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Unread 2018-02-09, 11:20 AM   #5
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And yes, Congress should be very ashamed. This is ridiculous. Even with the market in a likely correction, the US economy is very very solid. The last thing the government needs to be doing is allowing itself to spend even more money than it doesn't have.
I'm glad you were championing this during the previous admin.
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Unread 2018-02-09, 11:24 AM   #6
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Is there really $89.3B of damage that needs government funding to fix?

Offers $89.3 billion in additional funding for areas affected by natural disasters in 2017.
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Unread 2018-02-09, 11:25 AM   #7
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I'm glad you were championing this during the previous admin.
Need we remind you what the previous administration had to contend with from around 2008 through 2013? Trump walked into a gold mine in comparison.....just like he's done for most of his silver spoon fed life. And in typical Trump fashion, he as managed to make things worse.
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Unread 2018-02-09, 11:27 AM   #8
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Is there really $89.3B of damage that needs government funding to fix?

Offers $89.3 billion in additional funding for areas affected by natural disasters in 2017.
Yeah. Not everyone lives in JOCO.
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Unread 2018-02-09, 11:46 AM   #9
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Is there really $89.3B of damage that needs government funding to fix?

Offers $89.3 billion in additional funding for areas affected by natural disasters in 2017.
Well, there is the entire island of Puerto Rico that needs to be completely rebuilt.. Houston and Florida still have a lot of work to do.

I don't know the specific numbers, but there is definitely a lot of work that does need to be done to rebuild from last year's storms.
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Unread 2018-02-09, 12:16 PM   #10
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Well, there is the entire island of Puerto Rico that needs to be completely rebuilt.. Houston and Florida still have a lot of work to do.

I don't know the specific numbers, but there is definitely a lot of work that does need to be done to rebuild from last year's storms.
California also with the fires.

I'm not saying it isn't the right #, it just seems like a lot.

There were a few situations where the Puerto Rico funds weren't used as well as they should have been and that was a much smaller scale and $ figure vs. what we're talking here.

I'm all for stimulating the businesses who will clean and rebuild, but seems like a lot of waste and misuse will happen.
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Unread 2018-02-09, 12:17 PM   #11
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Yeah. Not everyone lives in JOCO.
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Unread 2018-02-09, 01:27 PM   #12
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California also with the fires.

I'm not saying it isn't the right #, it just seems like a lot.

There were a few situations where the Puerto Rico funds weren't used as well as they should have been and that was a much smaller scale and $ figure vs. what we're talking here.

I'm all for stimulating the businesses who will clean and rebuild, but seems like a lot of waste and misuse will happen.
Soooooooo.....are you just looking at the dollar figures and making these assumptions that it appears excessive or have you really looked into this?

PR is part of the US and remains largely a disaster area. Trump and our government have let them down. Period. FL, TX, CA, many other areas, and most importantly, PEOPLE, in the mainland US are still contending with residual damage brought by numerous natural disasters in 2017. Hell, I was in New Orleans last spring and they're still addressing infrastructure issues because of damage done by Katrina.
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Unread 2018-02-09, 03:39 PM   #13
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My approval of Rand Paul continues.
Congress should be ashamed... the spending is insanity.
where was this admiration of Rand Paul when he voted for a tax cut that will add at least $1.5T to the deficit? that's 5x bigger than the increased deficit spending and yet you and he had no meaningful problems with that...

I just don't understand how increasing the deficit when it actually benefits the people that are going to be forced to pay it back someday in meaningful ways is bad but doing it to benefit their employers and bosses is good just because a secretary in Wisconsin is seeing an additional $1.50/week on her check in fewer estimated taxes being taken out (whether or not that's actually what it should be will show next year).
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Unread 2018-02-09, 03:52 PM   #14
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Soooooooo.....are you just looking at the dollar figures and making these assumptions that it appears excessive or have you really looked into this?

PR is part of the US and remains largely a disaster area. Trump and our government have let them down. Period. FL, TX, CA, many other areas, and most importantly, PEOPLE, in the mainland US are still contending with residual damage brought by numerous natural disasters in 2017. Hell, I was in New Orleans last spring and they're still addressing infrastructure issues because of damage done by Katrina.
So how does the responsibility and cost burden work across these 5?

personal insurance
business insurance
city funds
state funds
federal funds
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Unread 2018-02-09, 03:53 PM   #15
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Is there really $89.3B of damage that needs government funding to fix?

Offers $89.3 billion in additional funding for areas affected by natural disasters in 2017.
Sheeeett, we could use all of that in the Atlanta area alone. We need a new ring road like Houston to get all of this truck traffic out of the city (Atlanta has a ring road like 435 but its grown outside of it) and then to repair all of the damage the trucks (and being the 3rd wettest city) did.
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Unread 2018-02-09, 03:54 PM   #16
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So how does the responsibility and cost burden work across these 5?

personal insurance
business insurance
city funds
state funds
federal funds

If you’re a liberal then there is zero personal responsibility. It’s the governments job to fix the problem.
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Unread 2018-02-09, 04:03 PM   #17
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where was this admiration of Rand Paul when he voted for a tax cut that will add at least $1.5T to the deficit? that's 5x bigger than the increased deficit spending and yet you and he had no meaningful problems with that...

I just don't understand how increasing the deficit when it actually benefits the people that are going to be forced to pay it back someday in meaningful ways is bad but doing it to benefit their employers and bosses is good just because a secretary in Wisconsin is seeing an additional $1.50/week on her check in fewer estimated taxes being taken out (whether or not that's actually what it should be will show next year).
A- that's an estimate, not a guarantee like last night
B- a TAX CUT is not spending, yes I realize it will possibly increase the deficit... but I'm much more opposed to government spending than a tax cut that increases the deficit
C- Your political bias won't allow you to look at this objectively, you proved as much by your second paragraph and how you view the tax cut
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Unread 2018-02-09, 04:24 PM   #18
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A- that's an estimate, not a guarantee like last night
B- a TAX CUT is not spending, yes I realize it will possibly increase the deficit... but I'm much more opposed to government spending than a tax cut that increases the deficit
C- Your political bias won't allow you to look at this objectively, you proved as much by your second paragraph and how you view the tax cut
A - its math. the only part that's an estimate is the estimate of how much economic impact there will be to offset the costs. acting like "its just an estimate, you can't say that its exactly 5x bigger..." is a child's answer. the tax fairy isn't real, tax cuts do not pay for themselves. we've had this experiment run dozens of times before and the answer is essentially always the same which is why the models are so accurate. pretending like "oh its only an estimate" is beneath you.
B - as covered in A, it will definitely increase the deficit. we're taking in almost 2T less money than before, there will not be the amount of economic activity to recover that money - there never has with any other tax cut so I repeat myself "the tax fairy is not real, tax cuts do not pay for themselves"
C - [kettle]I'm black? Bitch, you're black too![/kettle]

yes, you caught me, I'm biased to science and reality. the reality is that tax cuts (particularly those slanted heavily to the wealthy) do not create the same economic impact as gov't spending dollar for dollar. despite the fact that I personally will benefit much less from gov't spending that I will Republican tax cuts, I would rather the country and the people in it be in a better place economically than Republicans showering my family with another tax cut because in the end, someone is going to have to pay the money we're borrowing back and that's going to be on us and our kids. however, if we're going to add to the deficit either way, I would rather it have a greater economic impact for the country than for me personally.
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Unread 2018-02-09, 05:42 PM   #19
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A - its math. the only part that's an estimate is the estimate of how much economic impact there will be to offset the costs. acting like "its just an estimate, you can't say that its exactly 5x bigger..." is a child's answer. the tax fairy isn't real, tax cuts do not pay for themselves. we've had this experiment run dozens of times before and the answer is essentially always the same which is why the models are so accurate. pretending like "oh its only an estimate" is beneath you.
B - as covered in A, it will definitely increase the deficit. we're taking in almost 2T less money than before, there will not be the amount of economic activity to recover that money - there never has with any other tax cut so I repeat myself "the tax fairy is not real, tax cuts do not pay for themselves"
C - [kettle]I'm black? Bitch, you're black too![/kettle]
A- Ummm when the numbers are unknown, it's tough to agree with your point. The economic growth COULD completely make the cuts deficit neutral... while I agree that's unlikely... it's pretty important, and not just "math".

B- It likely will increase the deficit. But your question was about possible hypocrisy because I favor one Rand Paul action and didn't lambaste him for the other... I clarified they aren't the same. Increasing spending to create a deficit is totally different than cutting taxes which creates a deficit. I realize they have similar end results ON THE DEFICIT... but you have to be able to see the difference in why one could support cutting taxes and not support increasing spending... regardless of the deficit reality. As I said, if you can't see that it's due to partisan blinders

C- If you think we're approaching the tax cuts the same from a political angle, then you don't have a clue how my brain works clearly and haven't been paying much attention. You are left and proud of it... I'm a moderate, that absolutely goes both ways on many issues. Your left-leaning blurs your vision to see the left angle on most things. Since I hate both sides, and review each and every discussion from the middle. My vision is not blurred like you.
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Unread 2018-02-09, 06:11 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Ricerking13 View Post
B- It likely will increase the deficit. But your question was about possible hypocrisy because I favor one Rand Paul action and didn't lambaste him for the other... I clarified they aren't the same. Increasing spending to create a deficit is totally different than cutting taxes which creates a deficit. I realize they have similar end results ON THE DEFICIT... but you have to be able to see the difference in why one could support cutting taxes and not support increasing spending... regardless of the deficit reality. As I said, if you can't see that it's due to partisan blinders
you were proud of him for his speech, right? his speech was "ON THE DEFICIT" and how he hates that his side only cares about it when they are out of power. that's utter fucking hypocrisy because he voted to blow up the deficit (unless, like you, we're willing to pretend like we just can't tell if there will be an additional $1.5T-$2T in economic activity that results) less than two months ago. he is castigating his party for only caring about the deficit when it suits them as he stands there only caring about the deficit (based on his votes) when its not a tax cut... if anything he's even more of a hypocrite than the people he's grandstanding against and calling hypocrites because he's adding another layer to it.

and you're proud of him because you are the same kind of hypocrite he is... you give a shit about the deficit so long as its not a tax cut that puts money (even if its relative "crumbs") in your pocket.

you may not have "partisan" blinders on but your "self-interest" blinders seem just as strong.
Quote:
C- If you think we're approaching the tax cuts the same from a political angle, then you don't have a clue how my brain works clearly and haven't been paying much attention. You are left and proud of it... I'm a moderate, that absolutely goes both ways on many issues. Your left-leaning blurs your vision to see the left angle on most things. Since I hate both sides, and review each and every discussion from the middle. My vision is not blurred like you.
I know we're not approaching them from the same political angle. I was pointing out that you accusing me of coming at the issue with blinders on is staggeringly hypocritical. yours may not be political in the sense of a party but they are there just the same. you're so "blinded" to the simple math that even smaller tax cuts (much less the outsized ones like the one that just passed) never have ever paid for themselves in economic activity that you want to pretend like we just can't say they will... except that its reality and we already know they are going to increase the deficit to a large degree. whereas someone without blinders would look at the course of human history, see that its never happened and say "well they certainly won't pay for themselves (aka they will add to the deficit) but I want them for my own self-interest so I'm willing to accept that"... but instead you've deluded yourself into thinking that this may be the first time in human history that they pay for themselves so you don't have to accept that they will be added to the deficit like every other tax cut (because spending is not cut to the same degree) and Rand Paul is hypocritical ass for his grandstanding.
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Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that ”all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except negroes” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocricy. - Lincoln
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