Congress has given final approval to a massive budget bill that will add hundreds of billions of dollars in military and domestic spending over the next two years—without an agreement to protect young undocumented immigrants. The deal was reached in the early-morning hours after a delay by Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul extended debate past midnight—leading briefly to a federal government shutdown, the second in recent weeks. This is Senator Rand Paul.
Sen. Rand Paul: “We have a 700-page bill that no one has read, that was printed at midnight. No one will read this bill. Nothing will be reformed. The waste will continue, and government will keep taking your money irresponsibly and adding to a $20 trillion debt.”
The bill failed to meet the demands of immigrant rights groups—and many Democrats—who wanted protection for young undocumented immigrants as part of any spending agreement. The House vote was 240 to 186. Among those voting no was New York Congressmember Nydia Velázquez, who tweeted, “My decision wasn’t easy but we are elected to take tough votes and leaving #Dreamers behind is simply unacceptable.” Despite her opposition and a “no” vote from Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, 73 House Democrats voted yes and helped the measure pass. We’ll have more on the congressional budget agreement and the fight to protect DREAMers after headlines.