House passes deal to end shutdown

The House approved a sweeping budget deal early Friday morning that would fund the government through March 23, sending legislation to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE that would end a brief shutdown of the government that began at midnight.

The bill passed in a 240-186 vote despite opposition from most Democrats, who had sought a firmer commitment from Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHow does the 25th Amendment work? Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act GOP super PAC drops .5 million on Nevada ad campaign MORE (R-Wis.) that he will bring immigration legislation to the floor for a vote that would protect immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation.

House Democrats just barely made up for the defections on the GOP side. A total of 73 Democrats voted for the legislation, while 67 Republicans voted against it.
 
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Democrats nonetheless tried to make GOP leaders sweat. They held out their votes until the final minutes, when it was clear that a majority of the GOP conference supported it.
 
At first, Republicans were the only ones casting votes as Democrats sat largely in silence. Then the "no" votes ominously began piling up, only for enough Democrats to eventually neutralize the GOP defections.
 
Gamesmanship from both parties was repeatedly on display, with Democrats warning Republicans they could not count on the minority delivering votes.
 
Republicans, for their part, repeatedly played it cool in public, offering confidence the measure would pass despite opposition from conservative Republicans who said the new spending added too much to the deficit.
 
In his closing remarks, Ryan noted the bipartisan 71-28 Senate tally and said that 75 percent of Senate Democrats and 68 percent of Senate Republicans had voted for it. 
 
Before Ryan spoke, House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDemocrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act Internal RNC poll shows Pelosi is more popular than Trump: report MORE (D-Calif.) again called on him to commit to a vote on immigration, saying he acts more as a Speaker of the White House than a Speaker of the House.

The early vote took place because of Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulConservatives left frustrated as Congress passes big spending bills Senate approves 4B spending bill Some employees' personal data revealed in State Department email breach: report MORE (R-Ky.), who blocked action in the Senate for must of Thursday with a demand on an amendment leaving previous ceilings on federal spending in place.

"What you're seeing is recklessness trying to be passed off as bipartisanship,” Paul said in a Senate floor speech.

Paul used Senate rules to delay a vote in the Senate until early Friday morning, angering his colleagues in the process. 

In an extraordinary exchange on the Senate floor, the No. 2 Senate Republican, John CornynJohn CornynKey GOP senators appear cool to Kavanaugh accuser's demand Trump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle GOP mulls having outside counsel question Kavanaugh, Ford MORE (Texas), accused Paul of pushing to "effectively shut down the federal government for no real reason."

"I don't know why we are basically burning time here while the senator from Kentucky and others are sitting in the cloakroom wasting everybody's time and inconveniencing the staff," Cornyn said.

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneGoogle says it continues to allow apps to access Gmail user data Fight looms over national privacy law Want to improve health care? Get Americans off of their couches MORE (R-S.D.), a typically even-keeled lawmaker who said he passed the time by watching Netflix and the NBA, called Paul's tactics a "colossal waste of everyone’s time.”

In the House, Republicans warned that Democrats would own the shutdown if enough of them voted against the spending deal.

The debate took place just a few weeks after Democrats in the Senate blocked a House stopgap bill funding the government, triggering a three-day shutdown in January. That fight was also instigated by the battle over immigration — and specifically Democratic demands for legislation to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that President Trump is unwinding.

The deal passed by Congress sets the stage to boost federal spending for both defense and nondefense programs by $300 billion over the next two years and will suspend the debt ceiling for one year, knocking two major to-do items off lawmakers’ list.

The bill will fund the government until March 23, which will give lawmakers time to write an omnibus spending bill for the rest of the fiscal year and break the pattern of gridlock that has led to five temporary funding patches since September.

The deal also includes a number of other priorities for both parties, including nearly $90 billion for disaster relief, $6 billion to address the opioid crisis, a four-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program and more than $7 billion for community health centers.

Yet for all the sweeteners that were loaded onto the agreement, moving the deal through Congress wasn’t without its share of drama.

As part of the deal to end the previous shutdown last month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDoug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week GOP, Kavanaugh accuser struggle to reach deal MORE (R-Ky.) pledged to allow floor debate on immigration as soon as next week.

But Ryan would not make any assurances that the House would take up any bipartisan bill passed by the Senate or allow open-ended debate on immigration.

“We will bring a solution to the floor, one the president will sign,” Ryan said during a news conference on Thursday.

But Ryan expressed reluctance to move forward with legislation lacking Trump’s support.

“I don't want to just risk a veto,” Ryan said.

Pelosi set the record on Wednesday for the longest continuous floor speech demanding a commitment to allow a vote on bipartisan legislation to protect "Dreamers." She opposed the budget deal — which she helped negotiate with other congressional leaders — but indicated to her caucus that they could vote as they saw fit.

Just as the shutdown began at midnight Thursday night, House Democratic leaders again urged Ryan to make a public statement committing to open floor debate on a variety of immigration proposals.

“We strongly believe that Members of the House and their constituents deserve the same dignity that Leader McConnell has extended to Members of the Senate by allowing for a vote on this issue,” Pelosi, Minority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDemocrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her Dems' confidence swells with midterms fast approaching Trump's Puerto Rico tweets spark backlash MORE (D-Md.) and Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) wrote in a letter to Ryan.

Meanwhile, Ryan was also facing a revolt from within his own ranks, as scores of House conservatives slammed the budget deal as fiscally irresponsible and vowed to oppose the legislation.

Ryan and his leadership team were forced to lean on both Democrats and GOP defense hawks to largely supply the votes for the budget deal.

At a press conference earlier in the day, Ryan — flanked by a number of House Armed Services Committee members — touted the budget deal’s boost for the U.S. military.

Even Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump identifies first soldier remains from North Korea | New cyber strategy lets US go on offense | Army chief downplays talk of 'Fort Trump' Pompeo backed continued US support in Yemen war over objections from staff: report Stand with veterans instead of predatory for-profit colleges MORE joined the last-minute push to wrangle up support from defense hawks, making phone calls to lawmakers in the hours before the midnight deadline, according to one source.

In the Senate, Paul spent most of the late-night vote series ducked in the cloakroam, largely avoiding his colleagues whom he forced to be there until around 2 a.m.

Several senators were seen yawning inside the chamber, while Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenate panel reaches tentative deal for Kavanaugh accuser to testify Thursday Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week Aide for GOP involved in Kavanaugh nomination resigns after past sexual harassment allegation surfaces MORE (R-Iowa) bowed his head down and closed his eyes for a few minutes.  Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) told reporters he was so tired that he may even skip watching "Frasier" reruns.

In a sign of how unusual the night was, Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofePentagon releases report on sexual assault risk Trump privately calls Mattis ‘Moderate Dog’: report Cruz gets help from Senate GOP in face of serious challenge from O’Rourke MORE (R-Okla.) was forced to go change after showing up to the vote wearing jeans and a raincoat.

On the way to the chamber, Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingRestoring our national parks would be a bipartisan win for Congress Restore our parks Renaming Senate office building after McCain sparks GOP backlash MORE (I-Maine) asked reporters: "Don't we look awful?"

Mike Lillis and Jordain Carney contributed