Date
22 September 2017
Senator Ted Cruz, who led Republican opposition to the spending bill, speaks to reporters after it was passed. Photo: Reuters
Senator Ted Cruz, who led Republican opposition to the spending bill, speaks to reporters after it was passed. Photo: Reuters

US Senate passes budget bill, ending shutdown threat

The US Senate passed a US$1.1 trillion spending bill that removes the threat of a government shutdown. 

The Senate’s 56-40 vote Saturday sends the bill to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it into law before federal spending authority expires at midnight Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Passage of the 1,603-page bill was a long, tough struggle.

Debate in both chambers of Congress was marked by bitter disputes over changes to banking regulations and Obama’s recent executive order on immigration.

Liberal Democrats objected to a weakening of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, while conservative Republicans tried to sink it for failing to stop Obama’s order.

The legislation funds most government agencies until the end of September next year. The Department of Homeland Security will, however, get a funding extension only until Feb. 27, by which time Republicans will control both chambers of Congress.

Republicans insisted on the shorter term to expiry for the department so that they can try to deny the agency any funds for implementing Obama’s recent order easing deportations for millions of undocumented immigrants.

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CG/FL

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