US. Senate passes government funding bill amid second shutdown in less than a month
The Senate passed a massive, bipartisan budget agreement and spending bill to reopen the shuttered federal government amid objections from Republican fiscal conservatives who say the bill marks a return to unchecked deficit spending.
The bill now moves to the House.
However, it was too late to prevent a federal shutdown that was already underway in a setback for the Republican-controlled Congress.
Earlier, US Congress missed the deadline to renew funding for government needed to prevent the shutdown. This was the second US shutdown of 2018 began after lone senator held up a congressional vote on the crucial spending bill.
The Senate had reached a deal a day earlier on a measure that would lift spending limit and raise military spending, the bill stalled in the upper chamber for hours as Kentucky Republican Rand Paul held up a vote to protest increases in the federal deficit.
Earlier, the White House has advised US federal government agencies to prepare for a shutdown, an official said, as Congress hit a stumbling block in its efforts to pass a stopgap spending bill before midnight.
The first shutdown of 2018 began at midnight EST on Saturday, January 20, 2018, and ended on the evening of Monday, January 22. The shutdown began after a failure to pass legislation to fund government operations and agencies. This stemmed from disputes over the extension of the status of persons affected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy, and therefore whether those covered under the program should face deportation. There was also a dispute over whether funding should be allocated towards building a Mexico-United States border wall, a keystone policy during Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
In shutdowns, non-essential government employees are furloughed, or placed on temporary unpaid leave. Those dealing with public safety and national security, keep working.
After previous government shutdowns, Congress passed measures to ensure that all unpaid workers received retroactive pay.
More than 800,000 federal employees were furloughed during the shutdown, in October 2013, which lasted more than two weeks.