Within the span of a week, both houses of Congress passed a budget deal which blows through the discretionary spending caps instituted by the Budget Control Act of 2011 by $323 billion and extends the debt ceiling for two more years.
The House passed the bill last week just before they left Washington for the August recess.
Today, the Senate passed it by a vote of 67 to 28. Twenty-three Republicans broke ranks from Senate leadership and the president to vote against the budget agreement.
However, a majority of Senate Republicans supported the bill, a notable distinction from the two-thirds of House Republicans who opposed the legislation.
Five senators did not cast a vote: Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) who’s been recovering after an accident and Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) who are all running for president.
Texas’ senators were split with Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) voting for the bill and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) opposing it.
Cornyn stated about the bill on July 29, “It provides increased defense spending to recover from the depressed military readiness rates of the previous Administration, and provides our men and women in uniform with the resources, equipment, and training they need in order to defend our freedoms.”
“We know they wanted to use policy riders…,” he continued, “to try to implement elements of the Green New Deal to undo the President’s regulatory reforms or to rewrite our immigration laws through the back door.”
“I look forward to supporting it,” Cornyn concluded.
Cruz released a statement afterward stating, “This budget deal is yet another missed opportunity to rein in excessive government spending. While I am pleased to see increased funding for our national defense and our men and women in uniform, unfortunately, this bill perpetuates Democrats’ big government programs, increases our deficits, and plunges us further into debt.”
He added, “Instead of running up bills we can’t pay, we should be fighting for the American people’s common sense priorities such as securing our southern border, cutting taxes, and reducing regulations.”
President Trump, who last year said he would never again sign another spending bill like the 2018 omnibus, wholeheartedly endorsed this year’s spending hike.
He stated on Twitter, “Budget Deal is phenomenal for our Great Military, our Vets, and Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! Two year deal gets us past the Election. Go for it Republicans, there is always plenty of time to CUT!”
The legislation now moves to his desk for a likely signature.
The next potential spending fight will come during the appropriations process, as the budget agreement only increased the authorized amount of money the federal government can spend.
Appropriations will determine the specifics for how taxpayer dollars are spent.
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Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad watching and quoting Monty Python productions.