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United States needs govt shutdown to fix mess

08 May 2017

A divided House of Representatives agreed Wednesday to keep the federal government running until September, approving a $1.07 trillion spending plan that does little to advance President Donald Trump's priorities.

Missouri's U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, a fellow Republican, said he understood Trump's frustration with the Senate requirement for 60 votes to pass legislation, but cautioned against rushing to blow up the long standing rule.

The budget that prevented a government shutdown allows for a $1.5 billion border security spending increase - money that Donald Trump thinks will be used to build his nightmarish wall, but will really be used to fix a tiny portion of it, according to a report from CNN.

He said that legislation needs 60 votes in the Senate because of the filibuster and suggested that it would be necessary to elect more Republicans or "change the rules". Republicans say that was in response to Democrats changing the rules for lower-court nominees, but the lead-up to that was years (not months) in the making following record obstruction by Republicans.

If the bill is signed by the president, Congress will avoid a government shutdown until September, the next deadline for when funding runs out.

Democrats are pleased with the bipartisan deal; they've said so; and that's left Trump feeling bad about himself.

But Trump and his top advisers grew frustrated with Democrats' claiming victory that they chose to lay out their plans on Tuesday, the officials said.

Just before the president spoke, House Speaker Paul Ryan was seen in the Oval with Trump smiling and shaking hands.

"I wish he'd think twice before he tweets", said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.). Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., facing re-election in a state Trump won by 19 points past year, to abandon her long-standing aversion to massive government spending bills and support this one.

Israeli missile shoots down 'target' over Golan Heights
Separately, a spokesperson for the IDF told CNN the army had no comment on reports that Israel was responsible. Two Damascus residents who spoke to CNN reported hearing a massive explosion near the airport.

Trump and Turnbull were commemorating the 75th anniversary of that battle with speeches at a gala dinner aboard the USS Intrepid, a decommissioned aircraft carrier that fought in World War II and is a floating museum on the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan.

Last Thursday, Trump had tweeted that Democrats were threatening to close national parks as part of the negotiations "and shut down the government". They all voted for the budget Thursday.

"It would fundamentally change the way the Senate has worked for a very long time", McConnell said.

Negotiators on the bill dropped Trump's demands for a down payment on his oft-promised wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, but his signature would buy five months of funding stability while lawmakers argue over the wall and over Trump's demands for a huge military buildup matched by cuts to popular domestic programs and foreign aid accounts. His own White House was claiming victory.

It also includes provisions favored by Democrats, such as continued funding for health care subsidies under Obamacare as well as money for Planned Parenthood, and for Puerto Rico which is going through a budget crisis.

Both Republican and Democratic House leaders - and the White House - claimed victory.

The latest effort comes after earlier pushes by Trump for healthcare reform collapsed twice, underscoring the difficulty of rallying together the Republican party's divided factions.

The sweeping, 1,665-page bill also increases spending for NASA, medical research, and the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies. "We should be funding our priorities, not perpetuating Democrats' big government programs", said Sen.

The bill also provides more than $1 billion to address the opioid crisis - overdose deaths in Missouri are at record highs - and $1.3 billion to provide a permanent health care fix for more than 22,000 retired miners and their widows.