"When the Democrats are in power, Republicans appear to be the conservative party".
The breakthrough came on the eve of a midnight Thursday deadline for Congress to pass a stopgap spending measure-its fifth since October-or once again turn the lights out on the federal government. The deal included additional funding for a number of healthcare programs, as well as an extension to the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)'s funding on top of the extension that had already been put in place with the last spending bill in January.
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Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a defence hawk, said it was the "best news for the military. since 2011".
With all of the various battle lines being drawn and hard stances being taken, it would surprise no one if the budget plan that should pass smoothly through the Senate hits more than one snag in the House.
The colossal bill, which lawmakers had been negotiating for months, is a game-changing piece of legislation, clearing the decks for Congress in dealing with major spending issues as well as doling out disaster relief money and hiking the debt ceiling, which was set to be reached next month.
Paul objected to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's unanimous consent rule, blocking the ability to move up the vote on the bill.
Paul's objection, if he sticks with it, would force McConnell to wait until 1 a.m.to vote to take up the budget bill and then another 30 hours for debate before final passage. The same can not be said for the House, however, as more opponents are emerging from both sides of the aisle for varying reasons.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's Republicans needed help from Democrats to pass the bill.
The Senate had already approved the bipartisan spending legislation that will extend funding to the government through March 23 and boost disaster aid funding by around $90 billion for Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico that were battered by hurricanes a year ago.
But the compromise could face stiff blowback in the lower chamber of Congress, where fiscal conservatives may balk at adding $300 billion to the national debt just months after passing a $1.5 trillion tax cut package.
Liberal stalwarts might also revolt, over the sensitive issue of immigration and the fate of millions of undocumented migrants.
The Senate will vote first after its leaders agreed Wednesday on a bipartisan deal that does not include addressing contentious immigration topics.
The bill is also opposed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi because Republican House leaders will not guarantee her they will allow a debate later on about taking steps to address the problem of 700,000 "Dreamer" immigrants. "Let the chips fall where they may", she said.
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