The federal government briefly shut down while you were sleeping, as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul held up a massive $300 billion budget bill that keeps the government running until March 23rd because it increased the federal deficit. House Democratic leaders also opposed the bill because Speaker Paul Ryan hasn't committed to an open debate on a solution for 690,000 DACA recipients who could be eligible for deportation as soon as March.
The bill eventually passed the U.S. Senate at 1:30am by a 71-28 margin and the U.S. House at 5:30am by a 240-186 margin. President Donald Trump signed the bill into law on Friday morning, reopening the federal government after it shut down at midnight. The massive budget bill included billions in disaster funding for Florida and Puerto Rico along with an increase in defense spending and spending caps.
Here's how South Florida's members of Congress voted:
Sen. Marco Rubio (R): Yes
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Rubio praised the deal as a bipartisan compromise that gave Florida much-needed disaster relief. “While no one wants to have a hurricane and no one wants to have a natural disaster, I think this is a response that we should be happy about,” Rubio said on Wednesday. He did voice concerns over the deficit despite voting yes.
“Throughout my time in the Senate, my support for increasing the debt limit has been consistently conditioned on meaningful spending reforms that address our long-term debt,” Rubio said in a statement after the vote. “This budget deal does not do that. We must begin to seriously address the long-term drivers of our debt and get our fiscal house back in order. We cannot do that if we continue to govern through short term continuing resolutions that inefficiently spend taxpayer dollars and fail to provide the certainty required for effective planning.”
Sen. Bill Nelson (D): Yes
Nelson spoke alongside Rubio on the Senate floor to praise the deal after it was announced. “Senator Rubio and I have been talking about all the things we have done together in trying to get this disaster aid package to finally come to the point at which we can say we are so thankful that we see a path forward,” Nelson said.
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R): Yes
Curbelo had voted against multiple spending bills because a DACA solution wasn't imminent. But hours before the vote on Thursday Curbelo switched his stance after Ryan said he would “bring a solution to the floor.”
In a statement released Thursday, Curbelo said Ryan “delivered his strongest commitment yet that legislation will be considered on the floor of the House” and that was enough to change his vote.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R): No
Ros-Lehtinen, who is retiring in 2018, was the only Republican in Congress to join Democrats and vote against the budget bill because it didn't include a DACA solution.
“I will vote NO, as I have pledged to do so in the past,” Ros-Lehtinen said in an email on Thursday.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R): Yes
Diaz-Balart, an ally of leadership, has consistently voted in favor of short-term spending bills in recent months.
“This bipartisan legislation continues government operations and funds programs that are critical to Americans across the nation. It also invests in our military during a time where we must provide our troops with the proper resources to defend our country, help our allies, and stand up to our adversaries,” Diaz-Balart said in a statement. “I represent parts of Florida that are still rebuilding from Hurricane Irma, and the $89.3 billion supplemental will go a long way in helping these communities recover from storm damage.”
Rep. Frederica Wilson (D): No
Wilson, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus that opposed the deal and one of the more liberal members of Congress, voted no.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D): No
Wasserman Schultz was a firm no hours before the vote as some Democrats wavered on whether or not to follow leader Nancy Pelosi and vote no or vote to keep the government open without a DACA solution.
Rep. Ted Deutch (D): Yes
In a statement, Deutch said he voted for the budget bill to keep the government open “finally beyond just weeks.” The bill keeps the government running until March 23rd.
“Tonight, I voted for a compromise budget deal because it will allow us to keep the government running, finally beyond just weeks,” Deutch said. “This bill helps the millions of Americans in Florida and Puerto Rico, Texas, California and the Virgin Islands whose lives were turned upside down by natural disasters. It provides a potential lifeline to families struggling with opioid addiction.”
He also added that Congress must focus on passing the DREAM Act to help DACA recipients. President Donald Trump has indicated he does not support the DREAM Act.
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D): No
Hastings is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus that opposed the deal and is one of the more liberal members of Congress.