BREAKING NEWS : Allen County Councilman Joel Benz plans to accept TRAA executive director position Full Story

Rand Paul: GOP deficit spending 'hypocritical'

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) blasts the proposed government budget by claiming it raises deficits and says Republicans would be hypocritical to pass deficit spending under President Trump after "howling to high heaven" about the same practice under former President Obama.

Posted: Feb 9, 2018 1:38 PM
Updated: Feb 9, 2018 1:38 PM

President Donald Trump signed a major budget deal into law early Friday morning, hours after Congress voted to end a brief government shutdown overnight.

The House of Representatives voted 240-186. The GOP-controlled chamber needed help from House Democrats to clear the bill, and 73 Democratic members gave it. Sixty-seven House Republicans voted against the plan.

The colossal bill, which lawmakers have been negotiating for months, is a game-changing piece of legislation, clearing the decks for Congress in dealing with major spending issues as well as doling out disaster relief money and hiking the debt ceiling which was set to be reached next month.

The Senate approved the measure earlier on Friday morning. The federal government briefly shuttered for the second time in less than a month overnight, after Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul prevented the deal from passing Thursday.

The shutdown came just weeks after Democrats and a handful of Republicans, including Paul, refused to support the last continuing resolution, causing a shutdown that lasted a weekend. The effects from the overnight shutdown were expected to be minimal.

Trump tweeted that the bill, which gives the Pentagon an additional $165 billion, was a "big victory" for the US military. But he said Hill Republicans were "forced to increase spending" in order to attract Democratic votes.

There was uncertainty about the timing of Trump's signing, and the Office of Personnel Management, which manages the federal workforce, still had an alert on its website early Friday morning that stated that due to a "lapse in appropriations, federal government operations vary by agency."

Just how many Democrats would come on board was a key question up until the final moments, as liberals were unhappy about the bill not addressing immigration and conservatives oppose the increased spending.

After the vote succeeded in the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell kept his word to move to open an immigration debate next week. The majority leader moved to call a vote Monday to proceed to an unrelated House bill that will serve as a vehicle for a process unlike the Senate has seen in recent memory, where senators will be able to offer a number of amendments on competing immigration proposals to see which ones will secure the 60 votes needed to advance. But that will only happen if the House passes the continuing resolution later Friday morning.

Drama but success

In the end, the votes were there -- but that didn't prevent heightened drama leading up to the vote. Democrats intensified their efforts to communicate they would hold firm in an effort to pressure Republicans to offer a commitment for a floor vote on immigration.

RELATED: What are spending caps?

The overall deal also does not address immigration, a key sticking point for many Democrats, but it does increase spending caps by $300 billion for the Pentagon and domestic priorities, a crucial incentive for getting enough votes from both parties.

Leading up to the vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urged her members to vote against the bill but also urged them to hold their votes back, forcing Republicans to show their strength.

That strategy provided several minutes of heightened drama on the House floor, as Republicans looked nervously up at a board that displays votes by member's name and the yes votes hung around 150.

But then a few Democrats began to signal their caucus to put their votes in with time ticking down, and the chamber grew quiet as the no votes and yes votes began pouring in.

It remained unclear Friday morning whether that effort would be enough, however, to placate an angry base about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy being left out of the deal after months of pressing to have it included.

Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a key Democratic voice for immigrants and immigration reform, acknowledged to reporters shortly before the vote that there remained little to no venues for Democrats to use their leverage on DACA after this deal, though members would not give up.

After the vote, Pelosi vowed that the fight to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation was not over.

"I'm greatly disappointed that the Speaker does not have the courage to lift the shadow of fear from the lives of these inspiring young people," Pelosi said in a statement, referring to House Speaker Paul Ryan. "When we protect the Dreamers, we honor the highest ideals of America. Their patriotism, their perseverance, their optimism are an inspiration that stirs the conscience of our entire nation."

What's in the bill?

The massive two-year budget deal proposed by Senate leaders Wednesday raises budget caps by $300 billion in the next two years, increases the debt ceiling and offer up nearly $90 billion in disaster relief for hurricane-ravaged Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

About $165 billion would go to the Pentagon and $131 billion to non-defense programs.

"Our members who are focused on the military are very happy where we landed with that," Ryan told Hewitt on his radio show in reference to the defense spending caps.

The debt ceiling will be raised by the appropriate amount until March 2019.

RELATED: Trillion dollar deficits to hit sooner than expected

Exact spending would be left to the appropriations committees, but included in the funding is $10 billion to invest in infrastructure, $2.9 billion for child care and $3 billion to combat opioid and substance abuse.

The bill also keeps the government running until late March.

Paul amendment holds up Senate vote

Paul took to the Senate floor many times Thursday refusing to agree to move up the time for a vote in the chamber on the bill, which requires unanimous consent from all 100 senators. In doing so, Paul forced the vote procedurally to occur after 1 a.m. ET on Friday, after government funding expired.

Paul slammed his colleagues for "hypocrisy" and lack of fiscal restraint, as well as a lack of a fair and open process.

"There is probably a lot of blame to go around for the Republicans who are advocating for this debt," Paul said to CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront. "But I would say, really, primarily, this is coming from Congress. Leadership in Congress in both the House and Senate has decided to move forward. But the funny thing is you know so often in the media we hear 'we want you to work together.' They are are working together but working together to spend a ton of money."

Republican leaders say Paul wanted a vote on an amendment that is critical of the overall agreement but leaders couldn't give him that vote even if they wanted to, because it requires consent from all senators.

The proposal also represents a sharp change in tone for Republicans who under President Barack Obama railed strongly for fiscal austerity and warned about a ballooning national debt, and are now in effect removing barriers to spending previously put in place in part by leaders from their own party.

The Senate's Majority whip sounded a bit frustrated by the holdup. Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said he didn't know how long it would take to resolve the issue and said there are other procedural steps Paul could take to get a vote that leaders were talking to him about.

"Sen. Paul has some concerns he wants to be able to voice," Cornyn told reporters. "We're trying to work with him to help get that done."

Cornyn pointed out, "It takes unanimous consent to get an amendment."

"If we get one amendment up, you can imagine other people are going to have amendments," he said. "You can essentially accomplish the same thing by a point-of-order and get a vote. He doesn't need consent to do that. So that's an alternative we're going to suggest to him and work with him on."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, criticized Paul on Twitter.

"It appears 'General' @RandPaul is at it again. He just called for the immediate withdrawal of all forces from Afghanistan as a way to give the US military a pay raise," Graham tweeted. "Fortunately, only 'General' Paul -- and the Taliban - think that's a good idea."

This story has been updated and will continue to be updated with additional developments.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 941120

Reported Deaths: 15315
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1282511983
Lake633041097
Allen53609758
Hamilton43827447
St. Joseph41906590
Elkhart33545490
Vanderburgh30383448
Tippecanoe26820249
Johnson23609417
Hendricks22250341
Porter21737346
Clark17409229
Madison17366384
Vigo16108281
Monroe14466191
LaPorte14311239
Delaware14070221
Howard13865272
Kosciusko11418135
Hancock10841165
Warrick10674177
Bartholomew10542168
Floyd10430205
Wayne9959226
Grant9130204
Morgan8865160
Boone8389111
Dubois7710123
Dearborn762289
Henry7608130
Noble7413101
Marshall7362128
Cass7176117
Lawrence6957153
Shelby6584111
Jackson656785
Gibson6156107
Harrison603786
Huntington600195
Montgomery5805105
DeKalb574291
Knox5494104
Miami542488
Putnam536768
Clinton533665
Whitley524953
Steuben497268
Wabash483592
Jasper479160
Jefferson470092
Ripley454277
Adams444068
Daviess4169108
Scott405865
White391857
Clay390857
Greene388392
Decatur385296
Wells384983
Fayette374278
Posey359941
Jennings353156
Washington332047
LaGrange321375
Spencer317835
Fountain316555
Randolph312888
Sullivan307449
Owen283863
Starke280064
Fulton277553
Orange275859
Jay254837
Perry251652
Carroll243729
Franklin239338
Rush234130
Vermillion233250
Parke219820
Tipton209655
Pike207639
Blackford168334
Pulaski163551
Crawford146018
Newton144345
Benton142516
Brown135346
Martin128217
Switzerland125810
Warren114616
Union96911
Ohio79711
Unassigned0479

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1365800

Reported Deaths: 21596
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1522221560
Cuyahoga1344852327
Hamilton976051320
Montgomery670271141
Summit562091047
Lucas50900863
Butler47417655
Stark41580976
Lorain31567532
Warren30001331
Mahoning26963639
Clermont25628292
Lake24585417
Delaware22313145
Licking20487241
Fairfield20420221
Greene20309272
Trumbull19866509
Medina19796287
Clark17879328
Richland16314234
Portage16130229
Wood15681208
Allen14115256
Miami13786253
Muskingum12641152
Wayne11946238
Columbiana11708241
Tuscarawas10953269
Marion10725148
Pickaway10465129
Scioto10324127
Erie9747171
Ross9436176
Lawrence8755125
Hancock8458141
Ashtabula8317185
Geauga8173156
Belmont8140187
Jefferson7527172
Huron7423128
Union731851
Washington7183120
Athens697165
Sandusky6848134
Darke6756136
Knox6671122
Seneca6358137
Ashland5948113
Auglaize587188
Shelby5727101
Brown564171
Mercer557890
Defiance5483101
Madison543371
Crawford5425114
Highland541581
Fulton530683
Clinton525580
Logan512182
Preble4994110
Putnam4833106
Guernsey470364
Williams459282
Perry449852
Champaign445964
Ottawa436884
Jackson425362
Pike388843
Morrow383851
Fayette375853
Coshocton374766
Adams360675
Hardin359069
Gallia347356
Holmes3259108
Henry324668
Van Wert314670
Hocking301769
Wyandot280658
Carroll262652
Paulding242243
Meigs213942
Monroe189749
Noble169340
Morgan165829
Harrison157940
Vinton138118
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 43°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 50°
Huntington
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 43°
Decatur
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 43°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 51°
Sunshine and warmer air return to round out the work week, but the warm-up is brief.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events