US Govt Shuts Down For The Second Time In 3 Weeks As Budget Bill Faces Delay

| February 9 , 2018 , 12:36 IST

The US government shutdown for the second time in less than a month on Friday after the budget deal negotiations between the Republicans and Democrats in the Senate crossed beyond the midnight deadline.

The 2-year $300 billion budget deal that was negotiated on Wednesday would have increased funding for the military as well as civilian programmes but was delayed by Senator Paul Rand, the Junior Republican Senator from Kentucky, till after the deadline imposed at the end of the last shutdown in January.

Although the budget was considered to be a fair compromise by the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Senior Republican Senator from Kentucky and the Minority Leader Chuck Schumer the senior Democrat Senator from New York, it faced opposition by Rand.

“It spends too much money, borrows too much money, and actually we’re going to bring back Obama era deficits,” Rand said to Fox News on Thursday. “I was elected to combat Obama era deficits.”

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Fiscal conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus also objected to the proposed on the objecting to the budget deal on the same lines as Senator Rand.

“We support funding for our military, but growing the size of government by 13 percent adds to the swamp instead of draining it. This is not what the American people sent us here to do,” around 30 members of the group said on Wednesday.

The spokesman for Rand is conveyed that the Senator is seeking a vote on the amendment to restore the 2011 budget caps.

There were even more signs of dissent in the US House of Representatives, which would be required to approve any budget bill passed in the Senate.

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Meanwhile, many Democrats are also opposing the budget proposal as it does not address the immigration issue nor the protection of the immigrants that arrived illegally during their childhood which expires on March 5.

Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (Democrat from California) gave a speech for nearly eight hours, demanding a bill to protect those brought into the US illegally as children often called 'dreamers'.

The House did, however, pass a continuing resolution on Tuesday, funding the government through March 23 pending a clear passage from 9 Senate Democrats.

Previously, on January 20 the US government shutdown for nearly 3 days due to disagreements over immigration policies, with the Democrats eventually agreeing to the Republican proposal to debate it separately.