Not content to be a do-nothing, lame duck President, Barack Obama once again kicked ass and successfully negotiated a huge budget deal for Americans, winning major concessions from House Republicans. The deal, barring last-minute drama, was being finalized late Monday night, and could be put to a House vote as early as Wednesday, with the Senate vote following the day afterward.
Republicans were already complaining about the whuppin’ they received:
@SenatorSessions on budget deal: “it appears the president got whatever he wanted”
The deal essentially neuters far-right Republicans, preventing them from once again holding the country hostage over the budget and debt ceiling.
Key provisions of the deal include:
- Extending the debt limit to March 2017, into the next President’s term
- Government spending increasing $80 million over the current sequestration cap over two years (divided evenly between defense and non-defense accounts)
- $32 billion for an overseas contingency fund to offset the costs of war
To offset spending, additional provisions include:
- Congress agreeing to sell more broadcast spectrum bandwidth and oil from the strategic oil reserve
- 2% reduction in reimbursement to Medicare physicians
This new budget agreement prevents a 20% reduction in Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits which was due next year. However, cuts to the program include changes in SSD application processing that would involve physicians performing initial application review rather than Social Security Administration staffers.
In addition, those currently receiving SSD benefits would be allowed to perform some work without fear of losing their benefits, with a gradual reduction of benefits over time as their work capabilities increased.
It seems common sense has won in this instance, with at least some Republicans finally realizing that not everything President Obama suggests is evil.
Will wonders never cease?
Watch Paul Ryan whine about Obama’s big budget victory in the video below, via NBC News:
Featured image courtesy of politico.com.