The Senate passed a new 2 year budget bill today shortly after 3:00 a.m. that raises the debt ceiling until March 2017, removes the threat of a sovereign default looming a few days away, and expands military and domestic spending by $80 billion.
The budget deal was approved in a 64-35 vote and now awaits President Obama’s signature for final approval.
As the 2016 U.S. presidential election draws closer and Americans show more interest to vote for a U.S. presidential candidate with no Washington political ties, pragmatic Republicans have little interest to wage a new battle with Democrats over the debt ceiling and shut down the government again as was done from October 1st-16 2013 during the last great fiscal showdown that turned into a political circus and resulted in a low approval ratings for Congress.
The approved budget bill today received some resistance from several conservative senators.
Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), and Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) all voted against it. All three Republican senators are running for president.
The only Republican presidential candidate who voted in favor of the bill was Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina).
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) called the budget bill a “terrible, no good, rotten deal.”
Paul later tweeted, “The left gets more welfare, The Right gets more military contracts, and the Taxpayer is stuck with the bill!”
Under the terms of the budget bill, the limits on borrowing are suspended until March 16,2017 and it raises the spending levels above the 2011 Budget Control Act, increasing spending by $80 billion through September 2017.
The bill lifts spending caps by $50 billion in 2016 and $30 billion in 2017, divided evenly between domestic and military spending.
It includes changes to entitlement programs and delays a hike in Medicare premiums.
The bill also permits selling of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve to offset spending.