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  • Bipartisan Budget Deal Passes The Senate

    The bipartisan budget deal negotiated between congressional leadership and the White House is headed to President Barack Obama’s desk for signature after the Senate passed the measure Friday morning 64-35.

    The legislation faced pushback from conservatives in both chambers of Congress who vocalized their reservations over the increases in spending and the way the deal was conducted behind closed doors.

    “Republican majorities have just given President Obama is a diamond-encrusted, glow-in-the-dark AmEx card,” said Texas senator and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz Thursday in a Senate speech. “And it has a special feature. The president gets to spend it now, and they don’t even send him the bill.”

    The deal lifts both domestic and defense spending caps put in place by the 2011 Budget Control Act by $112 billion, including a $32 billion increase to the Overseas Contingency Fund used for U.S. interventions abroad. Domestic and defense spending will increase by $50 billion in 2016 and $30 billion in 2017.

    According to the Congressional Budget Office, the increases to spending will be fully offset by oil sales from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a 2 percent cut to Medicare and changes to Social Security.

    “It is paid for in a responsible, balanced way — in part with a measure to ensure that partnerships like hedge funds pay what they owe in taxes just like everybody else,” Obama said in a statement Friday. “It locks in two years of funding and should help break the cycle of shutdowns and manufactured crises that have harmed our economy.”

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