Senate sneaks in during dead of night to pass controversial budget bill...
Senate Republicans managed to wrangle enough of their troops to overcome a filibuster early Friday morning and pass the new budget deal, granting President Obama yet another debt holiday, busting the budget caps and boosting spending some $80 billion over the next two years.
Democrats, who are far more thrilled with the deal, did the heavy lifting, providing most of the votes as they won some $40 billion in new domestic spending in 2016 and 2017. They also forced the GOP to retreat on the hard-fought 2011 budget agreement that had helped bring deficits back under control.
Conservative Republicans were irate at their leaders and at defense hawks within the GOP who forced the deal by saying it was worth busting the caps in order to get the Pentagon more money at a time when the U.S. is fighting the war on terror.
“This deal represents the worst of Washington culture,” said Rep. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and presidential candidate who’d vowed to lead the filibuster, but who saw his efforts fall short to what he called an “unholy compromise between right and left.”
The bill cleared on a 64-35 vote, with just 18 Republicans joining all Democrats in backing the bill.
President Obama said the deal will “break the cycle of shutdowns and manufactured crises” that he and Congress have been through the last few years.