Huge spending increases, agreed by both Senate Democrats and Republicans, were temporarily held up by Rand Paul. leading to yet another, albeit temporary, government shutdown. Senator Paul called his fellow Republicans hypocrites for opposing Obama-era deficits whilst blindly acquiescing to Republicans ones. Again, use this example to show how the GOP is divided internally. Senator Paul comes from the Libertarian wing of the party, and in this instance he is pitted against Republicans who favour greater military spending. And there we all were thinking the Neo-Con faction of the party had disappeared. Turns out Trump likes military parades.
Yet the Republicans aren’t the only ones divided over the budget. Progressive Democrats are fuming that Senate Dems have accepted a bill, albeit with increased funding for programmes they care about, without any deal on the so-called “Dreamers”. House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi spoke for 8 hours (a very rare length of speech in a chamber that does not have the filibuster) about the plight of DACA recipients who arrived in the country as children, and who face deportation under the Trump administration. Some on the left of the party held up the previous attempt at passing budget, leading to a slightly longer, three day shutdown, in a bid to extend the DACA programme.
Use this example to show how both parties are divided, and also to show how party leaders in Congress exert influence.