House Passes Budget Deal

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a two-year bipartisan budget deal that raises the debt ceiling through March 2017 and reduces the deficit. The White House in a blog post called it “a major step forward for our economy,” noting that it provides $80 billion in sequester cap relief over the next two years. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the deal strengthens national security and “is a good deal for our troops, for taxpayers, and for the American people.” Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, said the deal is “fiscally responsible” and that he hopes to finish the appropriations process before Dec. 11, so Congress can avoid more delays “or ‘shutdown showdowns’ that have caused unnecessary damage to important federal programs.” Many of their colleagues disagreed. The legislation passed by a vote of 266 to 167 with all 167 nay votes coming from Republican members. Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) said he “couldn’t be more disappointed and frustrated with both the substance” of the bill and “the way it was negotiated in secret and rushed through Congress.” Rep. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has promised to filibuster the deal once it reaches the Senate. “I will fight this deal at every step,” he tweeted Tuesday.