Shutdown ends as president signs bipartisan budget bill

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WASHINGTON (AP) The House narrowly passed a sweeping bipartisan budget accord early Friday, ending an hours-long government shutdown and clearing a path for huge spending increases for both the Pentagon and domestic programs.

The 240-186 vote sent the $400 billion spending plan to President Donald Trump, who signed the measure.

Passage of the measure came over the opposition of Democratic leaders who demanded the promise of a vote to protect "Dreamer" immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

A band of tea party Republicans swung against the legislation as well, repelled by its spiraling spending levels.

The government shut down at midnight Thursday after Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul, a Texas native who attended Baylor University, blocked plans for a quick Senate vote, blaming his fellow Republicans for being "complicit" in the looming return of trillion-dollar budget deficits.

Mr. Trump was making the case on Twitter Friday for electing more Republicans to Congress after signing the $400 billion spending plan.

"Without more Republicans in Congress, we were forced to increase spending on things we do not like or want" to help the U.S. military. He says non-military spending "will never come down" without electing more Republicans in the 2018 elections.

He calls the spending plan a "BIG VICTORY for our Military, but much waste in order to get Dem votes."

He is pointing to upcoming talks on immigration, writing, "Fortunately, DACA not included in this Bill, negotiations to start now!"

U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, praised the measure, which addresses mental health issues, the opioid crisis, and provides funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, community health centers and defense.

“This two-year budget agreement puts Congress on a path to stop the cycle of short-term government funding bills. All of the new non-security domestic spending is directed toward the priorities the American people voted for in November 2016,” he said.

U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, also praised the measure.

“This bipartisan budget deal means that the men and women in uniform will have the resources they need to successfully do their jobs. For far too long, we’ve asked the military to do more with less, and function under the uncertainty of short-term funding bills and budget caps. Today’s budget deal means that our military can begin to rebuild,” he said.

“This bill also provides much needed disaster relief for communities impacted by the recent hurricanes and wildfires, and extends funding for community health centers. With this budget agreement comes a path forward for the Appropriations Committee to complete our work and bring stability to funding the government.”

U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, said the greatest threat to national security is out-of-control debt.

“After many years of bad deals, and the Obama Administration’s attempt to put this problem on the backs of our military, we are now faced with an untenable situation with an unfortunate solution.” He said.

“While Democrats seek to prioritize the rights of illegal immigration and Planned Parenthood, I choose to keep my promise to our men and women in uniform,” he said.

“Our armed services are not immune from our debt problems, and they should not be asked to shoulder an enormous burden while lawmakers negotiate unrelated spending measures.”