U.S. Capitol Building
The U.S. Capitol Building (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The federal government reopened Friday morning, hours after Congress missed a midnight deadline to reach a funding agreement and caused a brief shutdown.

Congress approved a major budget deal early Friday morning. Because the shutdown happened after midnight and was over before daybreak, it wasn’t expected to affect any government employees or operations.

The House of Representatives voted 240-186, with reportedly 73 Democrats in favor of the plan while 67 Republicans opposed it.

The measure went to President Donald Trump early Friday for his signature.

The agreement also came after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi staged an epic filibuster, speaking for more than eight hours on the House floor demanding that the budget bill include new protections for immigrants.

“Democrats worked hard to achieve a bipartisan agreement and gave our assurances to [House Speaker Paul Ryan] that we were not interested in shutting down government,” Pelosi said in a statement after the vote. “In return, the speaker refused to make a real commitment to schedule a vote to protect the Dreamers who have the overwhelming support of the American people and a bipartisan majority in the House.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks during an eight-hour filibuster from the House floor on Feb. 7.

In a statement Friday morning, Ryan called the budget deal “a great victory” for military service members.

“Ultimately, neither side got everything it wanted in this agreement, but we reached a bipartisan compromise that puts the safety and well-being of the American people first,” Ryan said.

The Senate now will tackle immigration in other debates and proposals before the end of the month, lawmakers said.

Ryan said he will attempt to draft a bill that Trump agrees to.

The president, who came under fire last month for allegedly calling Haiti and some African nations “s—hole” countries, continues to seek to further limit immigration. He maintains his desire to build a wall along the Mexican border, which Democrats strongly oppose.

On Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell maintained that he and other Senate Republicans are open to an immigration debate. He said he’ll soon call for a vote and begin a process where senators will be able to offer a number of amendments on immigration proposals in an attempt to find the bill that would have the needed votes to pass.

Meanwhile, the agreement that help avoid a second prolonged government shutdown in weeks included a $165 billion increase in military spending; a $131 billion rise to domestic program spending; nearly $90 billion in funding for disaster relief efforts in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico; two years of funding for community health centers; another four-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, for a total of a decade; funding for existing infrastructure programs related to transportation, drinking water and broadband.

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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