Neocon Senate Republicans Join Democrats to Pass Mammoth Budget

The New American – by Warren Mass

During a rare after-midnight session on October 30, the Republican–controlled Senate voted 64 to 35 to pass the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which began its life in the Republican-controlled House as H.R. 1314. The account of how outgoing House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) put together the budget by striking deals with members of the White House staff, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was documented in an article posted by The New American on October 27.  

The new budget not only increases spending by more than $100 billion, it also will allow the nation’s national debt to reach $20 trillion within the next 18 months, or sooner. During the October 28 Republican presidential candidates’ debate, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) stated:

I left my medical practice and ran for office because I was concerned about an $18 trillion debt. We borrow a million dollars a minute. Now, on the floor of the Congress, the Washington establishment from both parties puts forward a bill that will explode the deficit. It allows President Obama to borrow unlimited amounts of money.

Outgoing speaker Boehner made every effort to complete work on the new budget, before his successor, Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) took over the post, saying: “I don’t want to leave [Ryan] a dirty barn. I want to clean the barn up a little bit before [he] gets here.”

Fiscally conservative members of the House expressed their outrage at Boehner’s wheeling and dealing. Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) expressed his outrage:  “[Boehner] threw the committee chairmen under the bus.”

Representative Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) said, “I can’t vote for something where we spend the money today and save it 10 years from now. That, to me, is crazy.” And Representative Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) complained that this is “a two-year budget deal that raises the debt ceiling for basically the entire term of this presidency.”

Two GOP presidential candidates, Paul and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) left their campaign trails to be in Washington for the vote.

Paul had threatened one of his classic filibusters against the budget bill during this week’s debates, but Senate rules allowed him only limited power to delay the vote on this measure. However, in an hour-long speech that delayed the start of the final vote, Paul said Congress is “bad with money” and criticized both increases in defense spending supported by Republicans and domestic programs supported by Democrats. “These are the two parties getting together in an unholy alliance and spending us into oblivion,” said the Kentucky senator.

Cruz canceled campaign events in Nevada and returned to the Senate floor, where he charged that the Republican majorities had given Obama a “diamond-encrusted, glow-in-the-dark Amex card” for government spending. “It’s a pretty nifty card,” Cruz said. “You don’t have to pay for it, you get to spend it and it’s somebody else’s problem.”

Conservatives voters almost always vote for Republican candidates in congressional elections, assuming that GOP representatives and senators will be more fiscally prudent and oppose the high-cost social welfare programs favored by almost all Democrats. However, the rise of our nation’s interventionist foreign policy in the years since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks has caused many neoconservative Republicans to vote for almost any budget bill that increases spending for the Pentagon. That is one reason why the Obama administration was able to get both house of Congress — each controlled by the “opposition” party — to deliver a budget bill that President Obama was eager to sign. (Obama signed the bill Friday afternoon at the New Executive Office Building across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.)

Conservative voters might like to know exactly who the mostly neocon GOP senators are who voted to give Obama a blank check for the rest of his term in office, running up the national debt so high that our children’s children will never be able to pay it off. They are:

Lamar Alexander (Tennessee)

Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire)

Joe Barrasso (Wyoming)

Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia)

Thad Cochran (Mississippi)

Susan Collins (Maine)

John Cornyn (Texas)

Lindsey Graham (South Carolina)

Orrin Hatch (Utah)

Mark Kirk (Illinois)

John McCain (Arizona)

Mitch McConnell (Kentucky)

Pat Roberts (Kansas)

Mike Rounds (South Dakota)

John Thune (South Dakota)

Roger Wicker (Mississippi)

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