WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump signed Friday morning a combined funding and budget bill that was passed by Congress hours earlier and will increase federal spending by hundreds of billions of dollars, bringing an end to the second government shutdown this year.
Friday’s shutdown lasted just a few hours, while an earlier partial government shutdown in January was resolved after a three-day standoff.
“Just signed Bill. Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything – and more. First time this has happened in a long time. Also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!” Trump wrote Friday morning on Twitter.
The legislative package assigns budget figures for the next two fiscal years but only funds the government until March 23. Lawmakers still need to work out a bipartisan spending plan covering the remainder of the current fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30.
While praising the military spending, Trump lamented that Republicans were forced to compromise due to their slim majority in the Senate, where the GOP holds 51 seats and the Democrats 49.
Until Trump signed the bill, which the Senate passed with a vote of 71-28 and the House of Representatives approved by a count of 240-186, federal agencies were technically without funding.
The bill passed in the House thanks to the support of 73 Democrats and despite opposition from 67 Republican deficit-hawks.
The Senate and House eventually approved the package early Friday after Republican Sen. Rand Paul from Kentucky had filibustered the vote on Thursday.
The libertarian-leaning lawmaker said GOP lawmakers who had railed against deficit spending under former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, suddenly were willing to increase spending by hundreds of billions of dollars now that a Republican is office.
He said their actions amounted to rank hypocrisy.
The funding and budget bill includes around $300 billion in extra spending for both military programs and domestic non-military programs such as health, infrastructure and disaster relief.
It also suspends the federal debt ceiling through March 1, 2019.
But it does not include any solution for the so-called “Dreamers,” hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants who were brought to the US as children.