President Obama signed the two-year budget deal into law today, declaring the controversial compromise “a signal of how Washington should work.”
The Senate passed the deal in the wee hours of Friday morning, after protests by some Republicans. 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.
Obama said today that Democrats and Republicans “came together to set up a responsible, long-term budget process, and what we now see is a budget that reflects our values, that grows our economy, creates jobs, keeps America safe.”
“…And by locking in two years of funding, it should finally free us from the cycle of shutdown threats and last-minute fixes. It allows us to, therefore, plan for the future.”
The president added that “this is just the first step between now and the middle of December, before the Christmas break.”
“The appropriators are going to have to do their job; they’re going to have to come up with spending bills,” he said. “But this provides them the guidepost and the baseline with which to do that. And I’m confident that they can get it done on time. And there’s no better Christmas present for the American people because this will allow the kind of stability and will allow the economy to grow. At a time when you’ve got great weakness in economies around the world, this puts us on a responsible path and it makes sure that the American people are the beneficiaries.”
Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-Utah) office said today that a Facebook post thanking Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for his lengthy floor speeches against the budget deal reached 53 million people.
Lee protested that the bill is “raiding the Social Security Trust Fund, to the tune of $150 billion.”
“The American people are fed up,” Lee said of the 3:00 a.m. vote. “The mainstream media did not want to tell the truth about what was in this budget deal. But in the era of social media, you can no longer hide votes for bad policy in the middle of the night. The American people will find out.”
The 18 million views for Lee’s post far eclipses the most popular video on Obama’s Facebook page, which has 1.6 million views.