The bipartisan nature of the proposed $1.3 trillion March 2018 spending bill make a shutdown less likely.  After its release the President tweeted fairly positively on the issue.

However, on March 23 2018, the day of the deadline to avert a government shutdown, President Trump tweeted a veto threat. At 9 am, this tweet made a government shutdown seem possible, due to immigration concern.

This was a known risk throughout this whole process. The timing of this tweet is surprising though.

March 22 2018

This tweet followed the House passing the bill with 256 in favor of the bill and 167 against and debate ending on the spending bill in the Senate.

Due to the “unanimous consent” rule, all 100 US senators must agree to bring a vote without delay. Any single Senator may hold up the bill. But by ending debate, the bill can no longer be filibustered.

With just hours until the March 2018 government shutdown, Senator Rand Paul is indicating his opposition.


Senator Paul is tweeting details of the 2,200+ page bill as he reads through it. He noted just printing the bill took several hours.

These tweets are a great reference for the contents of the spending bill.  Or read our comments on the March 2018 spending bill.

March 21 2018 update

*Update – a 2,232-page long term spending bill was unveiled late Wednesday. This $1.3 trillion spending package predictably did not resolve many immigration issues.

The bill did not provide certainty for DACA recipients not a fully funded border wall for President Trump. The President tweeted on the issue.

What’s included in the proposed March 2018 spending bill?

  • The bill increases spending greatly again (similar to the February bill)
  • $128 billion additional funding for domestic programs and increases defense budgets by $160 billion.
  • $1.6 billion for the border wall
  • Funds an additional 328 additional Border Protection agents
  • Makes needed tweeks to the GOP tax bill
  • A potentially controversial provision called the “CLOUD Act” which would allow law enforcement agencies to get data directly from Facebook and other tech companies without needing a warrant
  • Provides $3.2 billion to address the opioid epidemic
  • Strengthens current gun background check laws
  • CDC can study gun violence, but not advocate.
  • Increases National Institute of Health (NIH) funding by $3 billion after a long period of budget uncertainty
  • Provides $446 million towards federal grants and Amtrak that could potentially go towards a streamlined Gateway infrastructure project. This is a proposed commuter rail tunnel under the Hudson River, connecting New York and New Jersey.
  • Fully funds Planned Parenthood

What’s not in the March 2018 spending bill?

  • There is no “Obamacare stabilization” funding
  • There is a lot missing from the $25 billion requested for the border wall.
  • The Gateway project is estimated to cost $900 million.
  • A long term solution for DACA recipients
  • VA reforms
  • No reciprocity for those with concealed carry licenses, in light of the “fix NICs” provision.

Specifics from Senator Rand Paul

  • no funds will be spent to prevent any state’s medical marijuana initiatives.
  • no funds in this act will be used to support or justify torture.
  • $6 billion National Science Foundation.
  • $12m for Scholarships for Lebanon
  • $20m for Middle East Partnership Initiative Scholarship Program
  • $12m in military funding for Vietnam
  • $3.5m in nutrition assistance to Laos
  • $15m in Developmental assistance to China
  • $10m for Women LEOs in Afghanistan
  • $1m for the World Meteorological Organization
  • $218m for Promoting Democracy Development in Europe (yep..the birthplace of democracy needs promoting)
  • $25m for International Religious Freedom
  • $10m for disadvantaged Egyptian Students
  • $1.371bn for Contributions to International Organizations
  • $51m to promote International Family Planning and Reproductive Health
  • $7m promoting International Conservation
  • $10m for UN Environmental Programs
  • $5m for Vietnam Education Foundation Grants
  • $2.579m for Commission on Security and Co-operation in Europe
  • $15m to USAID for promoting international higher education between universities
  • $2.696bn for International Disaster Assistance
  • $1m for the Cultural Antiquities Task Force
  • $6.25m for the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation
  • $20m for Countering Foreign State Propaganda
  • $12m for Countering State Disinformation and Pressure
  • $961 million to destroy our chemical weapons.

What’s next?

Embed from Getty Images

The odds of a government shutdown were volatile until the President’s 1pm press conference. Rand Paul single handedly shutdown the government for nearly 9 hours in February due to spending concerns. And the House Freedom Caucus was against the bill. T

he odds of a shutdown fluctuated between 3 and 30 percent of a shutdown.

The upcoming midterm elections will provide a battleground for more controversial policy priorities to be debated.  So only core issues seemed to have been funded.