Compromise spending bill…..
President Barack Obama said he’s eager to sign the two-year budget deal passed by the Senate in the pre-dawn hours Friday in hopes of breaking a “cycle of shutdowns and manufactured crises” that have hurt the U.S. economy.
Senators voted 64-35 for the measure that will spare the nation the specter of a catastrophic default and a partial government shutdown. Democrats teamed with Republican defense hawks to overcome opposition from conservatives who included two GOP senators running for president — Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas.
Obama had negotiated the accord, passed by the House earlier this week, with congressional leaders who were intent on avoiding the brinkmanship and shutdown threats that have haunted the institution for the past several years. Departing Rep. John Boehner of Ohio made it his top priority in his final days as speaker before making way for Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who took over the leadership Thursday.
In a statement issued by the White House early Friday, Obama said the deal shows Congress can “help, not hinder” the nation’s progress. He urged lawmakers to work on other needed spending measures in the future “without getting sidetracked by ideological provisions that have no place in America’s budget process.”
The deal allows members of both parties to look ahead toward next year’s presidential and congressional elections. Republican leaders were particularly concerned that failure to resolve this vexing issue could reflect poorly on their ability to govern. There was significant opposition in the Senate, nevertheless, as Paul and Cruz made it a point to be on the floor to register their concerns.
In an hour-long speech that delayed the final vote to around 3 a.m., Paul said Congress is “bad with money.” He railed against increases in defense dollars 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,” he said.