October 27, 2015

Where Are the Left’s Concessions in Budget Agreement?

It’s hard to see how the legislation advances conservative goals.

Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner and Barack Obama have reached a budget deal. The agreement — which still needs to pass Congress — will keep the government running for two years and raise the debt limit by $1.5 trillion. The agreement will raise the budget $80 billion over two years, which will give money equally to defense and domestic expenditures. For the bill to pass, Boehner may have to rely on Democrat support, as many Republican lawmakers remain undecided.

It’s hard to see how the legislation advances conservative goals. Increased spending and larger borrowing limits don’t put the nation on the path to fiscal moderation. In negotiations, Obama had the upper hand. The deadline to raise the debt ceiling is Nov. 3, and Boehner is expected to resign his seat and be gone by the end of this week, so there was more pressure on him to give in to Obama’s demands. If passed, the budget deal would avoid a nasty election year budget fight, as well as remove the issue for soon-to-be Speaker Paul Ryan’s plate. With the nation’s fiscal course set, Obama has an excuse to play a few more rounds of golf.

According to Ted Cruz, Republicans should expect some concessions from Democrats — if they fight like the Democrats. “Obama and the Democrats approach everything passionately committed to their principles,” Cruz told The Daily Signal. “They’ll crawl over broken glass with a knife between their teeth to advance their failed big government principles.” Precious little comparable determination exists among Republicans.

For what it’s worth, Ryan said, “The process stinks. This is not the way to run the people’s business, and under new management we are not going to do the people’s business this way.”

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