Senate Approves 2 Year Spending Bill, Challenges Remain In The House; U.S. Government Shuts Down Again

U.S. Capitol Bldg.

The U.S. Senate passed a 2 year budget bill late on Thursday that raises spending caps by $300 billion over 2 years that will move to the House floor on Friday for a vote but Congress still lacked enough votes to keep the U.S. government funded beyond midnight last night and now Americans face a second government shutdown this month.

Last month, Congress was unable to reach a deal to fund the government in time as Democrats dug in their heels over DACA for “dreamers” which briefly shut down the government for 3 days before Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell finally agreed to bring the DACA issue to the Senate floor for debate and a short term agreement was made to keep the U.S. government funded through February 9th.

Two Year Senate Budget Bill 

The newly approved $300 billion Senate budget bill contains large increases in defense spending for the military,   funds operations for the government for another 6 weeks until March 23rd, allocates $ 89.3 billion in Hurricane disaster relief spending, and raises the U.S. debt ceiling through March 2019.

But support for the bill faces a divided House where pockets of fiscally conservative Republicans have threatened to block the bill due to large increases in deficit spending and groups of House Democrats remain opposed.

The House Liberty Caucus, consisting of fiscally conservative Republicans and Libertarians, tweeted a statement yesterday opposing the Senate bill on grounds that “ruberstamps reckless increases in spending and grows the national debt at the expense of future generations.”

The House Liberty Caucus also stated that the bill “paves the way for the largest spending increase since 2009, and it further proves Congress has no interest in balancing the budget.”

Rep. Mark Meadows, a House Republican from North Carolina, the chair of fiscally conservative group Freedom Caucus, tweeted that he promised his constituents in Western North Carolina he would work to cut government spending.

“This budget deal does the opposite- it expands government spending well beyond the caps, by almost 15 percent” Meadows said.

Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona tweeted a graph from the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation showing a graph which captures high level of increases to the budget authority since 2014.

Written and Edited By:

John Schweitzer




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