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New Big Government Budget Passed In Bipartisan Deal

     2/12/2018

Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell

On Wednesday, leaders from the Senate released their two-year budget. The budget includes a boost in the military and non-defense spending by 300 billion over the span of two years. The budget also includes over 80 billion dollars for disaster relief. The passing of this budget prevented yet another Government shutdown that was scheduled for Thursday. If no resolution was made the Government would have shut down again. Wednesday night, Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky stood on the Senate floor to oppose the new budget. He felt the budget was not something Republicans should be voting for because it’s not fiscally conservative.

The budget passed by Congress is not even close to being fiscally conservative. The budget expands on a variety of different programs including, but not limited to defense spending. These other programs include 10 billion per year in infrastructure, an additional 2 billion per year in veterans affairs healthcare, an additional 2.9 billion per year in child care, an additional 3 billion to combat opioid addiction, an additional 495 million for the National Health Service Corps, and 363 million for Teaching health centers.

Republicans have been advocating for an increase in military spending in order to bolster up our defenses and follow in the footsteps of Teddy Roosevelt, “Speak softly but carry a big stick.” Republicans desire for increases in military spending has led them to making compromises with the Democrats. These compromises include increased spending for democratic programs which will raise the national debt even further. Senator Rand Paul refused to stand for such increases and made it abundantly clear on the Senate floor. Unfortunately, he did not prevail because most Republicans in Congress don’t seem to care about fiscal conservatism. Representative Mark Meadows ripped Republicans in Congress by saying, “The Swamp won and the American taxpayers lost.” He also said, “The real problem with this particular one is that our leadership caved.” Representative Meadows is suggesting that the Republican leadership valued a military spending increase so much so, that they were willing to let the Democrats get away with runaway spending.

When Republicans passed the tax cuts they should have been focusing on how to cut spending, if they wished to reduce or maintain the deficit. Most Republicans say they are fiscally conservative but when you ask them what programs they are willing to cut they will give you a very short list of programs if any, and generally of those they are willing to cut, the cuts are nominal at best.

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