US President Donald Trump signed a crucial spending bill Friday, reopening the US government after a brief shutdown, the second in three weeks, and a night of high drama in Congress.
Trump announced the signing on his Twitter account, hailing the bill’s passage in the early hours of Friday as a boost for the US military and “JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!”
The House voted 240 to 186 in support of a bipartisan package that extends funding until March 23, hours after a conservative senator forced Congress to miss a midnight deadline, sparking the shutdown.
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky had blocked a vote in the upper house, briefly bringing the government to a halt to protest big increases in spending on the military and domestic programs.
The compromise approved overnight also leaves many Democrats frustrated by failing to address the fate of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants threatened with deportation.
Trump defended the deal, but said it contained “much waste in order to get Dem votes.”
“Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more,” he said.
“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.”
Trump was referring to a provision in the bill that increases spending limits for the next two years and raises the federal debt ceiling until March 2019.
That is set to break the cycle of government funding crises in time for what will likely be a bruising campaign for November’s mid-term elections.
But the dramatics in Congress spoke volumes about the political gridlock that defines Washington. Punch