The Senate passed a two-year budget deal and stopgap spending bill early Friday morning, after the government shut down at midnight due to Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s refusal to allow the chamber to move up the timetable for a procedural vote on the legislation. Confidence that the measure would survive a House vote eroded over the course of Thursday, though, as a large number of House Democrats appeared willing to oppose the package over its failure to address the looming termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, reported the Washington Post. With many conservative Republicans expected to reject the deal because it would greatly expand the nation’s debt, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will need at least some Democratic votes to clear the bill.
If Ryan finds the votes, the government shutdown could be brief and end early Friday.
The measure would keep the government operating through March 23, giving the appropriations committees time to rewrite all 12 fiscal 2018 spending bills to the higher spending levels allowed under the two-year deal reached Wednesday. That agreement would raise the statutory caps on defense spending by $80 billion in FY 2018 and $85 billion the following year. For non-defense accounts, the cap would rise by $63 billion in the current year and $68 billion in FY 2019. The legislative package also would suspend the debt limit through March 1, 2019, and provide $89.3 billion in disaster aid for states and territories damaged by severe hurricanes and wildfires.