Biden spends $1.65 trillion taxpayer dollars while vacationing in St. Croix
While vacationing in the island of St. Croix for the holidays, President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law the massive $1.65 omnibus spending package.
The whopping 4,155 pages was supported by only nine House Republicans and 13 Senate Republicans. Majority of criticism from the GOP includes concerns that the bill was rushed and crammed with wasteful spending by a lame-duck Democratic-dominated Congress. The recourse will punish American families by adding to the national debt and exacerbate inflation.
“Today, I signed the bipartisan omnibus bill, ending a year of historic progress. It’ll invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, VAWA funding — and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine,” Biden tweeted. “Looking forward to more in 2023.”
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell “praised the bill on the grounds that it represents a real decrease in discretionary spending. He presented it as a positive that nondefense spending jumped by only 5.5 percent, from $730 billion to $772.5 billion, amid an inflation rate of 7.1 percent” writes National Review.
“The bipartisan government-funding bill that Senators Shelby and Leahy have finished negotiating does exactly the opposite of what the Biden administration first proposed,” he said. “This bill provides a substantial real-dollar increase to the defense baseline . . . and a substantial real-dollar cut to the non-defense, non-veterans baseline,” McConnell insisted as negotiations were wrapping up.
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, however, stated his strong disapproval of the bill before it even advanced. Affirming a letter from 13 House Republicans, McCarthy demanded the bill is reckless, irresponsible, and a “purposeful refusal to secure and defend our borders.”
For example, it failed to incorporate protections for Title 42, the pandemic policy that allows illegal immigrants to be expelled on a public-health basis, which currently hangs in the balance at the Supreme Court.
National Review adds, “The funding in the bill, which averted a federal government shutdown before the new year, includes an allocation of $45 billion in defense assistance to Ukraine. Some Republican priorities, such as Electoral Count Act reform and a bigger military budget, were nested in with Democratic appropriations, such as increased funding for Medicaid and food stamps.”
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House passes debt-ceiling deal with support from two thirds of GOP caucus
After hours of debate, the House voted Wednesday night to approve a bipartisan debt-ceiling deal, taking a step toward averting a default on U.S. debt. The measure passed with 314 members voting in favor and 117 members voting in opposition. 149 Republicans and 165 Democrats voted to approve the bill, while 71 Republicans and 46 Democrats voted against it.
National Review writes the measure’s passage secures “a victory for House speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who managed to keep his caucus together despite a challenge from House Freedom Caucus members intent on securing greater spending concessions from the Biden White House.”
The bill will now head to the Senate. McCarthy said the measure is the “largest spending cut that Congress has ever voted for,” but faced opposition from members of his caucus who believe the deal “didn’t go far enough in restoring pre-Covid spending levels.”
In his speech on the House floor Wednesday before the vote, McCarthy pleaded with his colleagues to support what he had bargained for with Biden:
“They demanded a clean debt limit, which really means they spend more and you pay more in taxes. House Republicans said ‘no’,” McCarthy said.“Over the past four months, we fought hard to change how Washington works. We stopped the Democrats from writing a blank check after the largest spending binge in American history… The Fiscal Responsibility Act is the biggest spending cut in American history.”
National Review reports:
The agreement suspends the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt limit through January 1, 2025, and caps spending in the 2024 and 2025 budgets.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the deal will reduce budget deficits by about $1.5 trillion between 2023 and 2033. Director of the CBO Phillip Swagel projected that there would be reductions in discretionary outlays of $1.3 trillion over the 2024–2033 period. Mandatory spending would decrease by $10 billion, revenues would decrease by $2 billion over the same period, and the interest on the public debt would decline by $188 billion.
Biden warned of the consequences of default, saying what would follow would include an economic recession, devastated retirement accounts, and millions of jobs lost.
“I made clear from the start of negotiations that the only path forward was a bipartisan budget agreement,” explained Biden on Twitter. “No one got everything they wanted. But that’s the responsibility of governing.”
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