U.S. govt second shutdown | Rand Paul protests budget deal

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The federal government shut for the second time in less than a month overnight, after Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul on Thursday prevented the budget bill from passing ahead of a shutdown deadline. His one-man filibuster of a two-year budget deal led to a final vote on the package being held almost two hours after Thursday's midnight government shutdown deadline had already passed.

The Senate had passed the budget deal on a 71-28 vote not long after the shutdown began at midnight.

The bill, which includes a far-reaching deal that increases spending limits for the next two years and raises the federal debt ceiling until March 2019, would break the cycle of government funding crises in time for what is set to be a bruising campaign for November's mid-term elections.

Paul took to the Senate floor several times Thursday and refused to agree to move up the time for a vote on the bill, which required unanimous consent from all senators. Meanwhile it will also be challenged by House Republican fiscal conservatives who oppose any increases for non-defense spending and increases in the nation's debt and fiscal deficit.

The House approved the $400 billion budget deal in a 240-186 vote after the package was approved by the Senate early Friday morning.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) said, "This agreement will also allow us to step off this carousel of short-term funding bills that do nothing but hurt our military and stymie our ability to be able to focus on other important agenda items".

Stay with Northern Michigan's News Leader as we work to keep you updated. ANd speculations are that around 70 Republicans in the chamber could vote against the bill.

In addition to Paul's objections, it is also unclear whether enough House Democrats will support the package.

The legislation has passed the Senate but now faces a tough battle in the House.

Progressive Democrats protested the omission of language that would end the threat of deportation for more than one million young undocumented immigrants, known as "Dreamers", who were brought to the United States as children.

President Trump has called on Democrats and Republicans [VIDEO] to back the Senate bill and even took to Twitter to say lawmakers must support our troops and this deal.

The Senate will continue deliberating through the night with the hopes of sending a spending bill to the House at some point in the early morning hours.

A midnight shutdown of the government, buoyed by U.S. Sen. But Mr Trump ended the programme last September, setting March 5 as a deadline for resolving the issue.

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