On Thursday Trump was able to achieve a rare feat in today’s political climate. A Democrat controlled house approved a President Trump endorsed budget and debt deal landing another win for the President.
Democrats rallied behind the legislation. Many republicans voted in opposition, however, feeling that the deal didn’t do enough to reduce the deficit.
Although it doesn’t directly fund the government, the measure would prevent another government shutdown by enabling the Treasury to freely borrow in order to pay the government’s bills as well as solidify recent budget gains for military and domestic programs.
The measure would be a big win for Washington as a whole, tackling two essential items on their its agenda. One of the items it achieved was raising the debt limit through 2021, which would aid by averting a default on U.S. payments. The other is setting overall spending limits to prevent $125 billion in automatic spending cuts from hitting military and domestic programs, with 10 percent cuts beginning in January.
The measure passed with a 284-149 vote, with the overwhelming “yea” votes coming from Democrats. In all, 219 Democrats voted yes, 65 Republicans voted yea, 132 Republicans voted no, and 16 Democrats voted no.
The far-left “squad” — freshmen Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — were split over the budget deal. Omar and Pressley voted against it, while Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib voted for it.
Democrats may have had some ulterior motives, however. Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Mark Pocan of Wisconsin and Pramila Jayapal of Washington state said in a statement that the agreement is “not a perfect deal by any means” but that “With this agreement, we can finally begin to end this harmful chapter of self-inflicted austerity,” adding that “it will allow for major, long-overdue investments in domestic priorities — including housing assistance, food aid, education and job training.”
Still, President Trump tweeted after the vote: “I am pleased to announce the House has passed our budget deal 284-149. Great for our Military and our Vets. A big thank you!”
“We are pleased that our increase in non-defense budget actually exceeds the parity number on defense by $10 billion over the next two years,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was the main architect of the measure.
“And we’re pleased to be able to say that we have secured an increase of more than $100 billion in the budget cap for domestic priorities since the President took office,” she added.
“House Republicans should support the TWO-YEAR BUDGET AGREEMENT which greatly helps our Military and our Vets,” Trump tweeted earlier Thursday. “I am totally with you!”
While other GOP lawmakers touted the bill as an imperfect, but necessary result of Washington’s divided balance of power.
“The alternatives are very, very bad,” said Rep. Kay Granger of Texas, the top Republican on the Appropriations Committee.
The House separately defeated an effort by Rep. Thomas Massie, to change the title of the legislation from “The Bipartisan Budget Act” to “The Kick the Can Down the Road Act,” 384-47.
The legislation is expected to be sent to the Senate for approval before it is sent to President Trump’s desk. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will consider the plan next week.