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President Donald Trump has signed a sweeping budget bill approved by Congress to re-open the government after it was briefly closed overnight.

Federal funding for government services expired at midnight (05:00 GMT), after the Senate missed a voting deadline.

The 650-page plan proposes an increase in spending on defence and domestic services of about $300bn (£215bn).

The shutdown, which lasted five hours, was the second under the Republican-controlled Congress this year.

The president, who signed the bill early on Friday, said the military “will now be stronger than ever before”.

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The bipartisan measure is the fifth temporary government funding measure for the fiscal year, giving lawmakers until March 23 to draft a full-year budget.

The bill had been expected to pass before the midnight deadline but senators struggled with last-minute objections from Republican Rand Paul, which meant they could not vote in time.

The shutdown came within three weeks of the last one. Lawmakers have wrangled over the spending plan and other political demands from either side.
The House approved the bill by 240 votes to 186. The Senate had passed it by 71 to 28 three hours earlier.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, a top Republican, said the bill was “a great victory for our men and women in uniform” as the military would get more resources.

He said:[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“Ultimately, neither side got everything it wanted in this agreement, but we reached a bipartisan compromise that puts the safety and wellbeing of the American people first.”

Politicians from both opposing parties criticised Senator Paul for slowing the bill up and provoking the shutdown.

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill said “it looked like he was clueless”, while Republican Senator John Thune called the shutdown “a colossal waste of time”.

Why were budget hawks opposed to the bill?
While the spending bill’s funding for the Pentagon delighted the national security wing of the party, fiscal conservatives were concerned about ramifications for the nation’s debt.

In a doom-laden speech, Senator Paul angrily charged his fellow Republicans with fiscal profligacy, accusing his colleagues of “spending us into oblivion”.
“I ran for office because I was very critical of President Obama’s trillion-dollar deficits,” he said.

“Now we have Republicans, hand-in-hand with Democrats, offering us trillion-dollar deficits.

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“I can’t in all good honesty, in all good faith, just look the other way just because my party is now complicit in the deficits.”
This would be “the very definition of hypocrisy”, he added.

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