The PJ Tatler

Senate Passes 'Unholy Alliance' Budget Compromise in Wee Hours

The Senate passed the controversial budget deal in the wee hours of Friday morning, after protests by some Republicans and an accusation that senators were using the debate for presidential campaigning.

“Where Rand Paul and Ted Cruz prove to America they should be President by making us vote at 1am. Genius,” tweeted Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) as the debate dragged on.

The vote actually didn’t come until around 3 a.m. It passed 64-35, with Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) not voting.

Republicans who voted for the deal were Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

The bipartisan two-year budget deal that raises the debt ceiling and averts shutdown was passed in the House with unanimous Democratic support Wednesday. Seventy-nine Republicans backed the bill, while 167 opposed it for a final tally of 266-167.

Paul (R-Ky.) protested that the deal “gives the President the power to borrow unlimited amounts of money.”

“This deal represents the worst of the Washington culture. The left and the right have come together in an unholy alliance to explode the debt. The left gets more welfare, the right gets more military contracts, and the taxpayer is stuck with the bill,” he said on the Senate floor. “…I will not give this president or any president to power to borrow unspecified amounts of money.”

Calling it a “no good, rotten deal,” Paul added that “the debt threatens us like never before and now is the time to take a stand.”

Cruz (R-Texas) said in his floor remarks that “Republican majorities have just given President Obama is a diamond-encrusted, glow-in-the-dark AmEx card.”

“The entire time Republican leaders have been promising, ‘We’re going to do something on the budget. We’re going to rein in the president,’ they have been in the back room negotiating to fund every single thing Obama did,” he charged.

 

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) objected to the deal for “raiding the Social Security Trust Fund, to the tune of $150 billion.”

“That’s right: our grand, bipartisan solution to the impending insolvency of our nation’s largest disability insurance program amounts to stealing $150 billion from our nation’s largest retirement insurance program,” Lee said.

“And this isn’t the only phony pay-for in this budget deal. There are others that simply move around money from elsewhere in the federal budget, like the Crime Victims Fund and the Asset Forfeiture Fund.”

President Obama issued a statement this morning applauding “Democrats and Republicans who came together this morning to pass a responsible, long-term budget agreement that reflects our values, grows our economy and creates jobs.”

“This agreement is a reminder that Washington can still choose to help, rather than hinder, America’s progress, and I look forward to signing it into law as soon as it reaches my desk,” Obama said.

“After that, Congress should build on this by getting to work on spending bills that invest in America’s priorities without getting sidetracked by ideological provisions that have no place in America’s budget process. If we can do that, we’ll help our workers and businesses keep growing the economy and building an America full of opportunity for all.”