Conservatives Push Back Against Budget Deal In The Senate

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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The bipartisan budget deal that passed the House in a  266-167 vote Wednesday evening is facing pushback from conservatives in the Senate. The legislation increases discretionary spending by $80 billion, split between domestic and defense programs over the course of the next two years in addition to raising the debt ceiling until March 2017.

Just 79 Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the measure in the lower chamber, and the deal is facing similar criticisms from Republicans in the Senate, citing back-room bargaining and spending increases to as a major problem.

“Once again, a massive deal, crafted behind closed doors, is being rushed through Congress under a threat of panic.  The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 serves as a reminder that the most important and controversial legislation is still being drafted in secret, with little or no input from the members of this chamber,” said Sen. [crscore]Jeff Sessions[/crscore]. “This is how a country goes broke.”

The Congressional Budget Office projects all spending increases will be offset by oil sales from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a 2 percent cut to Medicare and changes to Social Security. But the GOP lawmakers have vocalized they don’t think it goes far enough to control spending.

Kentucky Republican and presidential hopeful [crscore]Rand Paul[/crscore] took to the Senate floor Thursday afternoon to filibuster the measure.

“I rise in particular in opposition to raising the debt ceiling without getting any sort of spending reform or budgetary reform in return,” Paul said”. In fact, it will be completely the opposite.”

Majority Leader [crscore]Mitch McConnell[/crscore], who filed cloture on the legislation, is expected to try and stop the filibuster around 1 a.m. — meaning Paul would need 41 senators to join him to stop the procedural measure and allow him to continue.

The bill is expected to be brought to a vote Friday morning.

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