Conservatives sound alarm on newly approved federal budget

By Rachel del Guidice | The Daily Signal

By a vote of 71-28, the U.S. Senate approved a budget deal 1:30 a.m. Friday that will raise caps on spending by $300 billion over two years. The House passed it 240-186, at about 5:30 a.m., and President Donald Trump signed the budget bill within three hours, ending a brief government shutdown overnight.

The deal is the “second-largest spending increase in a decade, second only to the Obama stimulus, which we all know was the biggest boondoggle that you can imagine,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told The Daily Signal in an interview before the votes in the Senate and House.

In the end, 67 House Republicans voted no, as did 119 Democrats. Many of the Democrats had demanded amnesty for illegal immigrants.

After signing the budget bill, Trump took to Twitter to explain why Republicans were “forced” by Democrats to get behind more nondefense spending:

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who supported the two-year budget deal, had criticized a massive — but smaller — spending deal crafted in 2015 by President Barack Obama, then-Speaker John Boehner, and Senate leaders. That deal increased spending by $80 billion over two years.

The new deal is “approaching a quarter of a trillion dollars in discretionary spending increase in one year,” Jordan said, “and we are going to run almost a trillion-dollar deficit, so this is just not what the American people elected us to do.”

Government funding was set to run out at midnight Thursday if Congress did not act.

The two-year deal would provide roughly $160 billion to the Pentagon, allocate $128 billion to nondefense programs, and devote $80 billion to disaster relief.

The deal, according to a recent commentary by Justin Bogie, a senior policy analyst in fiscal affairs at The Heritage Foundation, would raise spending caps set in the Budget Control Act by $296 billion, “with only a third of that being paid for.”

The Budget Control Act, passed in 2011, sought to curb government spending and control the growth of federal programs.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., both had pushed the budget deal on Twitter, as had President Donald Trump.

But Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., tweeted that he is “disgusted” by the deal. Biggs told The Daily Signal in a phone interview that he couldn’t support the plan.

“I am going to be voting no,” Biggs said. “The deficit is going to increase significantly within the next few years because we haven’t done a balanced budget, we’ve just done CRs [continuing resolutions]. So this contributes to all of that.”

The conservative House Freedom Caucus, a group of 30-some Republicans, including Biggs and Jordan, said it does not support the deal.

Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., also a member of the Freedom Caucus, said he too would vote no.

“I am going to vote no because once again, the House did its work on time with 12 appropriations bills, sent them over to the Senate, the Senate failed, and now we’re going to do Democrat policy instead of Republican policy by increasing the budget $300 billion, right?” Brat told The Daily Signal, adding:

We failed on health care, on immigration, the Senate keeps waving shiny objects over there, and now we are having a budget fail, a 13 percent increase in the budget. When we are supposed to be reducing the deficits, we are going to have trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see.

Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., another Freedom Caucus member, said the deal does not do enough to advance conservative priorities.

“The bottom line is that this adds hundreds of billions of dollars to our federal [budget] deficit and ultimately our federal debt,” Harris told The Daily Signal in an interview. “It’s going to create new spending programs that are going to have to be funded every year, and it does it without paying for it or setting priorities.”

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., tried to block the vote in the Senate.

“All Senator Rand Paul is asking for is a 15-minute vote on his amendment to restore the budget caps,” Paul spokesman Sergio Gor said in a tweet. “He is ready to proceed at any time.”

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., an open critic of Trump, said he couldn’t support the deal.

Ken McIntyre contributed to this report, which was updated to include the Senate and House votes and Trump’s signing of the budget bill.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Public domain

One thought on “Conservatives sound alarm on newly approved federal budget

  1. They have got to stop spending more than we take in. Personally, they should require every and I mean every department to cut their budgets 10% each year until the budget is balanced. There is way more than 10% waste in the budgets.

Comments are closed.