US Senate votes to approve budget deal, averting shutdown threat, May 2017

Updated: The Senate has approved, and the President has signed, a $1.2 trillion budget deal funding the government through the end of the fiscal year, averting a government shutdown at midnight on May 5. President Trump quickly signed the measure, which passed the Senate 79 – 18 (all 18 Nay votes were Republican).

The bill includes $1.5 billion in emergency homeland security funds but does not provided a down payment on the proposed border wall. It also provides an additional $15 billion in military spending. However it puts off many of the budget proposals tabled by the White House in March, including substantial cuts across an array of agencies and programs.

Congress next turns its attention to the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Expect the shutdown threat to crop up again toward the end of September. The White House is expected to offer its full budget plan for fiscal 2018 within the upcoming weeks, expanding on an earlier blueprint calling for substantial cuts in spending at EPA, State, HHS and other agencies in order to fund increases at DoD, DHS and VA.

President Trump Tweeted this week that “our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix [this] mess,” apparently in reference to how White House initiatives have bogged down due to the need to achieve at least some bipartisan agreement, especially in the Senate. Any shutdown would not actually start until October 1, as did the most recent one, in 2013, which centered on a push to defund Obamacare.