Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., sought to delay voting over his opposition to raising the spending caps on agencies.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., sought to delay voting over his opposition to raising the spending caps on agencies. J.Scott Applewhite/AP

Shutdown Looms as Congress Hits a Snag in Passing Budget Deal

Timing of the shutdown-averting measure is delayed after senator objects to hastened passage.

The Senate on Thursday hit a speed bump in its effort to pass a measure that would avoid a shutdown this evening and raise spending levels by $300 billion over the next two years, putting agencies at risk of shuttering their doors for the second time in three weeks.

The vote was delayed by a procedural hold up just hours before current appropriations are set to expire, leaving Congress limited time to avoid a shutdown at midnight. The bill would place agencies on their fifth continuing resolution of fiscal 2018, giving lawmakers until March 23 to set line-by-line appropriations for agencies across government.

The Senate had hoped to send the bill to the House early Thursday afternoon by unanimous agreement, but Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., objected to that plan because it raises spending levels. Paul said he would allow an immediate vote if there were a separate vote on reinstating the current spending caps. If Paul sticks to his plan, the Senate could begin an initial vote at 1 a.m. Friday at the earliest.

"I’m not advocating for shutting down the government," Paul said on Fox News Thursday. "I’m also not advocating for keeping the damn thing open and borrowing a million dollars a minute." He acknowledged there was little he could do to keep the measure from eventually passing, but in the meantime "they're going to have to listen to me talk about it."

An Office of Management and Budget official said Thursday evening the administration was preparing agencies for a shutdown.

"The Office of Management and Budget is currently preparing for a lapse in appropriations," the official said. "As we stated earlier today, we support the Bipartisan Budget Act and urge Congress to send it to the president's desk without delay."

Under the budget deal, a forthcoming omnibus spending bill would give appropriators an additional $63 billion for non-defense agencies, allocating a total of $579 billion for fiscal 2018. Defense spending would increase by $80 billion. In fiscal 2019, non-defense spending would increase by $68 billion to $597 billion.

Members of the Senate gave speeches throughout the day praising the agreement, with Republicans focusing largely on the increased military spending and Democrats praising the relief non-defense agencies will receive from the spending caps instituted by the 2011 Budget Control Act.

“Our middle class has suffered from a Congress that imposed a needless austerity on itself, limiting investment in jobs and education, infrastructure, scientific research, and more,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Thursday. “This budget deal puts that to an end as well.” On Wednesday when announcing the deal, Schumer said the measure would finally send the sequester caps to “the ash heap of history.”

Senate Democrats relented on their demand that a spending bill be linked to a solution for dealing with the status of immigrants whose protective status on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will soon expire only after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., promised to hold a series of votes on a variety of proposals on the subject. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has promised only to bring to the floor a measure President Trump would sign, leaving Democratic leadership in that chamber in opposition to the spending agreement.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Thursday called on Ryan to “man up” and allow the chamber to vote on an array of immigration-related issues. Pelosi said she would not whip her caucus to vote against the measure, but would let them know why she would not vote for it. She sent a letter to her colleagues Thursday afternoon offering that explanation.

“We cannot allow our success in one part of the discussion to diminish our leverage in another,” Pelosi wrote. “We have always said nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to."

Many conservative House Republicans have said they will not support the bill due to its impact on federal deficits, which Pelosi told her colleagues they could sink the measure if they remained united: “The Republicans do not have the votes to pass this caps bill on their own.”

Ryan pushed for House lawmakers to approve the spending bill so they could move on to immigration issues.

“In order to shift our focus and get on to the next big priority, which is a DACA solution, we gotta get this budget agreement done so we can go and focus on this,” Ryan said.

The White House threw its support behind the bill just days after Trump said he would “love to see a shutdown” if Democrats did not agree to his immigration demands. The endorsement came despite the bill’s spending increase for non-defense agencies. While the agreement would lift domestic budget caps by $63 billion in fiscal 2018, Trump’s budget call for a $54 billion spending decrease domestically. The Office of Management and Budget said in its statement of administration policy Congress should “enact without delay” the cuts Trump has proposed.

“It is critical that the Congress work to decrease non-defense spending in other areas to reduce America’s growing national debt,” OMB said. “The Bipartisan Budget Act provides non-defense discretionary spending levels higher than the administration deems necessary.”

This story has been updated with OMB's acknowledgment that it is preparing for a shutdown. 

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.