Government Shutdown
There is a need to pass a bill extending routine government funding after a stopgap bill expires March 27. Without an extension, a partial government shutdown would occur. Congress must pass this spending bill, called a continuing resolution or “CR,” which would continue spending after Sept. 30, 2013, the end of the 2013 fiscal year. As it stands now, the government’s legal authority to borrow more money runs out in mid-October, 2013. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, if that date arrived on October 18, the Treasury “would be about $106 billion short of paying all bills owed between October 18 and November 15. The congressionally mandated limit on federal borrowing is currently set at $16.7 trillion. The debt limit has been raised 13 times since 2001 and has grown from about 55 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2001 to 102 percent of GDP last year.

Congress Passes Mammoth Spending Bill, Averts Shutdown

3/23/18
from The Wall Street Journal,
3/23/18:

The $1.3 trillion budget bill now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.

The Senate passed a $1.3 trillion spending bill early Friday, acting to avert a government shutdown with less than 24 hours to spare and bringing to a close a messy negotiating process over the sprawling measure. The bill, which now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature, would lift military spending by $80 billion this year and domestic programs by $63 billion, a decision lauded by defense hawks and criticized by lawmakers frustrated by its impact on the deficit. White House officials said Thursday that Mr. Trump would sign it.

The vote was 65-32 and followed House passage on Thursday. Twenty-four Republicans voted against the legislation, led by Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) depicted the bill as “legislation that neither side sees as perfect, but which contains a host of significant victories and important achievements on behalf of the American people.”

The repeated delays left senators tired and angry. “This is a ridiculous process,” Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.), demanding that Mr. McConnell explain on the Senate floor “what has occurred over the last 11 hours” that prevented the Senate from voting. Mr. Corker voted against the spending bill. The biggest problem for many Republicans was the size of the spending package. “I’m really troubled by the increased spending in this bill,” said Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.) who was undecided on the bill Thursday as he weighing its advantages for the military against its impact on the debt. Democrats celebrated victories in the spending bill, including higher spending for infrastructure, opioid research and treatment, the National Institutes of Health, Head Start and child-care programs. “This is a bill that puts the middle class and those struggling to get there first,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.)

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