Shutdown yet again—but Congress passes budget bill to end impasse

The federal government shut down for the second time this calendar year, as of 12:01 Friday, Feb. 9, as the Senate was unable to pass a bill in time to beat the funding deadline.

But ultimately lawmakers rounded up the votes needed to pass a longer-term spending bill—complete with authority to raise the debt ceiling into next year, a move that should bring greater stability to federal funding.  

The budget bill—approved by both House and Senate and sent to the White House for quick signing—is a rare bird in recent days, an actual budget bill. In a deal months in the making that gives much to both parties’ priorities, covering the longer haul, the bill offers $165 billion for Defense, $90 billion for disaster relief, $6 billion to help manage the opioid crisis, an extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program.

The catch? There are a few—for those focused on immigration there was no deal on the soon-to-expire Deferred Action on Child Arrivals program, and disappointing deficit hawks the bill blows out deficit spending caps agreed to half a decade ago. Also, the bill actually only funds the government into late next month—a detailed spending bill would have to be passed by March 23.

But for feds, the bill and agreement around its outlines should mean getting back to work—and a lot less drama in the months to come.

Reader comments

Tue, Feb 13, 2018

You know what's a lot worse than "those clowns"? The kind of government with an authoritarian president who doesn't care about law -- or democracy?

Tue, Feb 13, 2018

Please in November do not run since Congress and Senate are full of stale inept self-serving do nothing minions. The epitome of incompetence!

Mon, Feb 12, 2018

Tell the congress and senate look to the right of you then look left all three will be gone by next election time. It would be a great start and maybe term limits since they do nothing worthy of their swamp dwelling salaries benefits and perks. Good by the epitome collection of lazy self-serving misfits elected by a supposedly democratic process in which the lobbyists actually pull the strings of the congressional and senate puppets.

Fri, Feb 9, 2018

Cant take any of what these elected clowns do seriously anymore. Tax breaks for race horses, indeed!

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Contributors

Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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