The air is crisp, the leaves are donning their autumnal dress, and the Hill is bracing for it’s annual budget fight.
According to Speaker Boehner, “there’s no reason to vote against it.”
But what’s really in the House’s budget proposal?
The Washington Examiner‘s Phillip Klein isn’t so convinced. “This is what Republican surrender looks like,” he wrote:
Republican leaders have agreed to unravel progress they made in hard fought budget battles to pump more money into government in the short-term in exchange for modest reforms, many of which can and likely will be easily undone by future Congresses. After spending much of their time in the minority in 2009 and 2010 poking holes in Obama’s budget gimmickry, they have dug deep into a Mary Poppins-like bag of gimmicks and thrown them all into this deal.
The deal, in addition to suspending the debt limit until March 2017, will increase spending in a number of ways. It will undo the limits on discretionary spending put in place by the 2011 budget deal, representing an increase in $80 billion over the next two fiscal years, split between defense and non-defense spending.
To help pay for this, they’re theoretically extending the time that sequestration will be in place for two additional years, from 2023 to 2025. On paper, the idea is that spending cuts in 2024 and 2025 will help make up for the increased spending in the next two years. But this is a fantasy.
…There will also be an additional $16 billion in defense spending increases into an overseas contingency operations fund and the deal would spend more money by avoiding scheduled increases in Medicare premiums.
…”The last thing Congress should do is raid the retirement trust fund,” the GOP’s own budget, released in March, read. As Republicans rightly pointed out, when this trick has been used in the past, all it’s done is delay the problem and worsen the finances of Social Security’s retirement program. But the Boehner deal relies on this kind of reallocation to put off the immediate crisis from 2016 to 2022.
Though there are some worthwhile reforms to the disability program in the deal aimed at reducing fraud, in no way do those justify kicking the can down the road in this manner.
The House budget proposal is so good, Senate Republicans are already balking at the idea of passing it.
Sen. Rubio rejected the deal because it contains no deterrent for Washington’s never-ending spending spree:
“I oppose this deal, which fails to seriously address the long-term drivers of our debt, contains no fundamental reforms to stop Washington from spending money it doesn’t have and does not come close to meeting our military needs in a dangerous global security environment. This severely flawed deal punts an opportunity to prioritize defense spending to the levels necessary to protect our nation, irresponsibly increases the debt ceiling through March 2017 and fails to reform Social Security Disability Insurance to ensure its long-term solvency.”
— Senator Rubio Press (@SenRubioPress) October 27, 2015
And Sen. Paul is planning to filibuster it to death. The Washington Examiner reported Paul’s remarks in Denver Tuesday evening:
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul promised to filibuster a deal reached by the White House and House Republicans that would keep the government financed through next September while raising the debt ceiling.
The Republican presidential candidate told reporters in Denver Tuesday that he will “do everything in [his] power” to stop the Senate’s passage of what he described as a “steaming pile of legislation.”
“I will filibuster and I will urge my colleagues to join my effort,” he added.
The bill reached by Republican leaders and President Obama Monday evening would increase existing caps on federal spending by $50 billion in fiscal 2016 and by $30 billion the following year in addition to boosting military spending by $16 billion in both years.
The Daily Signal provided a budget breakdown in one handy little chart:
Hide your wallets, it’s going to get ugly.
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