Congress Passes Massive Bipartisan Spending Deal With No Way Of Paying For It
While You Were Sleeping (Probably), Government Briefly Shuts Down Again, Then Reopens After House Passes Bill Shortly Before 6 AM Local Time
- Gives the President huge increases in defense spending (it’s gonna be some parade!…)
- Funds, and increases funding for many of the programs Trump wanted to cut deeply. Like medical research and environmental protection.
- Takes care of victims of recent natural disasters to the tune of $90-billion.
- Eliminates the bits-and-pieces way Republicans have been funding the government. Putting an end to continual big budget battles at least through 2019.
- Paves the way for a separate discussion on an immigration bill, which needs to pass by the beginning of next month, although Democrats did not get the firm promise they were demanding from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan that he’d immigration up next no matter what.
- Proves that bipartisanship isn’t totally dead, at least when it comes to throwing around money. This is the biggest piece of bipartisan legislation we’ve seen in a long time.
- Provide a mechanism for paying for any of it: it’s just pure accumulation of debt. The Washington Post describes it as “showering billions of dollars on defense and domestic priorities”.
In The End, It Was Democrats In The House Who Pushed The Spending Bill Over The Goal Line
As Roll Call Reports, enough of them voted “yes” to offset Republican defections. 73 Democrats voted in favor, despite House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi voting against, after her 8 hour long floor speech in support of undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. That more than made up for the loss of 67 Republican votes over the issue of deficit spending, even though most of those same House Republicans recently voted for a much bigger $1.5-trillion tax cut bill, also with no way of paying for it.
If you want to see how your Representative or Senator voted, or just how the vote went down in general:
- Here’s a link to a list of the final roll call vote in the Senate.
- Here’s a link to a list of the final roll call vote in the House.
Or there’s this lower-tech list of House Democrats voting in favor, courtesy of the Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis:
Rand Paul, Hypocrite (Even Though He’s Right This Time Around)
The short-lived government shutdown was entirely caused by a single person: the Senator from Kentucky, out to make a point about wanton levels of deficit spending the government has now embraced. Paul blocked a swift passage by filibustering on the Senate floor for hours.
Paul calling out Republicans for supporting a bill they would’ve fought tooth and nail under a Democratic President; calling out Democrats for not fighting huge increases in military spending just because they’re getting some social programs they want. (Paul is against a lot of U.S. overseas military intervention as well as lots of domestic spending.)
You can watch a few choice moments by clicking on the video below:
It’s compelling stuff. Only problem is when Paul says “the hypocrisy hangs in the air”, he could very well be talking about himself. Because Paul voted for the $1.5-trillion in tax cuts, with no way of paying for them, and which have yet to start “paying for themselves”. And that will almost certainly blow a far bigger hole in the budget than any 2-year spending agreement.