Congress votes to reopen government, passes massive budget deal

(CNN)Congress approved a major budget deal early Friday morning, ending a brief government shutdown overnight and sending the measure to the President for his signature.

The House of Representatives voted 240-186. The GOP-controlled chamber needed help from House Democrats to clear the bill, and 73 Democratic members gave it. Sixty-seven House Republicans voted against the plan.

The colossal bill, which lawmakers have been negotiating for months, is a game-changing piece of legislation, clearing the decks for Congress in dealing with major spending issues as well as doling out disaster relief money and hiking the debt ceiling which was set to be reached next month.

The Senate approved the measure earlier on Friday morning. The federal government briefly shuttered for the second time in less than a month overnight, after Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul prevented the deal from passing Thursday.

The shutdown came just weeks after Democrats and a handful of Republicans including Paul refused to support the last continuing resolution causing a shutdown that only lasted a weekend. The effects were expected to be minimal given that it started and is expected to finish with Trump’s signature before most of the federal workforce arrives at work Friday morning.

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