WASHINGTON — The House and Senate passed a two-year budget bill before dawn on Friday, causing only an hours-long government shutdown.
House Republicans were not uniformly in favor of the bill, with deficit hawks upset at the large spending increase. The House Freedom Caucus, known for its support of limited government, tweeted Wednesday “Growing the size of government by 13 percent is not what the voters sent us here to do.”
House Democrats also had mixed feelings but face would be able to direct money toward many of their priorities with the bill that has bipartisan Senate support, but provides no immigration solution, a top Democratic goal.
The bill adds about $560 billion in spending. It also increases spending caps by $300 billion, including about $160 billion for defense spending and $128 billion for nondefense spending. It also includes $80 billion for one-time disaster relief.
The bill notably does not deal with a solution to restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provides temporary visas to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. President Donald Trump canceled the program so about 700,000 young “dreamers” will lose legal status in March. Democrats have been pushing for a renewal in return for supporting GOP budgets.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday he is committed to finding a DACA solution, although he did not specify what the solution would be. He said he would bring the issue \to a vote on the House floor, but that a budget agreement had to come first.
He said the increased military funding was particularly important, adding that 80 people died in training incidents in 2017, about four times more than died in combat. He said these deaths could have been preventing with more resources
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke for a record-breaking eight hours Wednesday in favor of acting swiftly on DACA. The 77-year-old’s speech was praised by many Democrats, many of whom tweeted #GoNancyGo.
Pelosi said that she does not support the bill, despite its inclusion of Democratic priorities, including increased nondefense spending and disaster relief.
“The package does nothing to advance bipartisan legislation to protect dreamers,” she said in a news release.
Other Democrats, including House Budget Committee senior Democrat Rep. John Yarmuth, said they would vote for the bill.
Yarmuth tweeted that the spending bill was a “compromise” and said he was “optimistic” that a bipartisan deal would be reached on DACA.