Rand Paul delayed U.S. Senate action on two-year budget deal

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walk to the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Thayer?

Vastavam web: Republican Rand Paul, a fiscal conservative, single-handedly delayed U.S. Senate action on Thursday on a two-year budget deal meant to avert another government shutdown, objecting to $300 billion in new deficit spending included in the measure.The budget bill, backed by Republican President Donald Trump, would end for some time the fiscal policy squabbling that has consumed Congress for months. But it would be costly and highlight a basic shift in Republican thinking.

Once known as the party of fiscal conservatism, the Republicans and Trump in December added an estimated $1.5 trillion to the national debt with a sweeping tax overhaul bill, their only significant legislative achievement of 2017.“Now we have Republicans hand in hand with Democrats offering us trillion-dollar deficits. I can’t in … good faith, just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits. Really who is to blame? Both parties,” he said before ending his remarks at 7 p.m.

The delay gave Paul a chance to speak his peace, but it was not expected to block the bill in the Senate. The deal, crafted by Senate leaders on Wednesday, would stave off a government shutdown before a deadline on Thursday night, while extending the government’s debt ceiling until March 2019.Final passage of the bill would remove some uncertainty from U.S. financial markets at a turbulent time. Stocks plunged on Thursday on heavy volume, throwing off course a nearly nine-year bull run. The S&P 500 slumped 3.8 percent.Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, expressing impatience with his fellow Kentuckian Paul, said: ”Funding for the government expires in just a few hours. The bipartisan agreement before us funds our troops at the level requested by the Pentagon, addresses the opioid crisis, which is extremely big in the state of Kentucky and around the country, funds our veterans and many other shared priorities.