Senate Refuses To Cut One Penny From The Largest Government Budget

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Thomas Phippen Thomas Phippen is acting editor in chief at the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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The Senate rejected President Donald Trump’s request to cut the already signed $1.3 trillion budget Wednesday, with two Republican senators voting with the Democrats to refuse less than one half of one percent of funding for the year.

The measure to discharge from committee Trump’s request to cut $15 billion from the budget failed 48 to 50, the Hill reported, ending any possibility at reducing spending for the current fiscal year.

Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who nearly always votes in line with Trump’s agenda, and Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who frequently votes with Democrats, cast the deciding votes.

“It is disappointing that the Senate chose to reject this common-sense plan,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said in a statement, “and the American people should be asking their representatives in Washington one simple question: If they cannot pass good-government legislation to recapture unnecessary funds, how can we ever expect them to address Washington’s staggering debt and deficit problem?”

The House approved the president’s request on June 6 along party lines, the day after Trump tweeted that clawing back the $15 billion was necessary to curb wasteful spending and get the government “back on track.”

Burr’s office told The Washington Post that the senator was disappointed with the $16 million proposed cuts to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and Collins was concerned about cutting the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by $7 billion as the White House requested. (RELATED: Congressmen Used To Love Rescissions, Until Trump Offered Them Up)

“I thought we all campaigned on cutting wasteful spending,” Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee said. “I thought our party was about lowering federal deficits by lowering federal spending. It saddens me to see people who campaigned on lower spending break their promise and vote with Democrats against President Trump.”

Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, said the rescission package was a distraction from the work the chamber is doing to pass an actual budget as the process is intended.

“Here in the Senate, we are committed to making the appropriations process work again,” Leahy said in a statement. “Rejecting the rescission bill will allow us to continue that work. President Trump’s rescission package was an unnecessary distraction from this progress.”

When Trump signed the spending bill in February, he railed high expenditures on domestic programs, calling the whole thing “ridiculous” and vowing to “never sign another bill like this again.”

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