In a rare, early morning session (we’re talking 12:01 a.m. here, people), the Senate passed President Obama’s successfully negotiated budget bill 64-35, sending the bill to his desk. The President is expected to sign the bill well ahead of Tuesday’s looming debt ceiling deadline.
In a rare move, Senators gathered early Friday morning to vote on the issue. However, with a vote not able to occur until 1:00 a.m., this gave
resident nutters Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz ample opportunity to vent their spleens.
Paul, who left the presidential campaign trail to make the vote, criticized what he considers excessive spending in Washington.
These are the two parties getting together in an unholy alliance and spending us into oblivion.
Not to be outdone, Cruz canceled campaign events in Nevada to return to Washington. He railed that Republican majorities had given President Obama a diamond-encrusted, glow-in-the-dark Amex card.
It’s a pretty nifty card, Cruz said. You don’t have to pay for it, you get to spend it and it’s somebody else’s problem.
As previously reported, the budget deal successfully averts another national debt default. It sets the federal budget for 2016 AND 2017, and provides $80 billion more for both military and domestic programs. This $80 million is paid for, in part, with both broad spending cuts and revenue increases from the sale of broadcast spectrum and strategic oil reserves.
Also avoided were shortfalls in the Social Security Disability trust fund which would have slashed benefits and unprecedented increases in Medicare premiums for outpatient care to 15 million beneficiaries. These were paid for, in part, by a two percent reduction in reimbursement to physicians and cuts on Medicare payments on outpatient services provided by specific hospitals.
All in all, I’d say President Obama won another one for the team.
Let’s watch as the budget passes the Senate:
Featured image courtesy of addictinginfo.org.