Friday, May 13, 2016

Houses Passes Bipartisan $3.5 Trillion Budget

The House of Representatives yesterday passed a sweeping budget resolution for the 2016-17 fiscal year. The budget calls for $3.54 trillion in spending during the next fiscal year, with $2.99 trillion coming in as revenue, resulting in a deficit of $552 billion.

Both Republicans and Democrats from the Money Committee, which drafted the budget, emphasized the bipartisan nature of the agreement.

Rep. Joe Barton: Wind turbines
are destroying the Earth.
Many members, however, used the session as an opportunity to complain about various aspects of the budget bill, even thought most would eventually vote for it. Majority Leader Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) called the half-trillion dollar deficit unacceptable, saying, "We need to rein in spending." Rep. Louie Gohmert (R - Texas) complained about the amount of money going to aid other nations, and Rep Paul Ryan (R - Wisconsin) described the public education system as a "black hole."

Democrats, for their part, expressed concern about insufficient funding for public education, among other areas. Rep. Mike Honda (D - California) credited education and other non-defense spending for helping the United States win the Cold War, and Rep. Hakim Jeffries (D - New York) explained that sometimes "You need money to make money." Rep. Jared Polis (D - Colorado) expressed strong support for funds for Native American communities, but was quickly rebuffed by Budget Chair Peter King (R - New York), who suggested that Polis, from Boulder, was out of touch with average Americans.
Rep. Patrick Maloney: Deeply concerned
with conservative nocturnal emissions.

Tensions were elevated at times, such as when Rep. Joe Barton (R - Texas) passionately warned that
wind turbines were disrupting Earth's natural cooling mechanisms and could slow the Earth's rotation. Rep. Patrick Maloney (D - New York) drew Republicans' ire when he described their ideal fiscal scenarios as "Republicans' wet dreams." Rep. John Lewis (D - Georgia) chided both sides for irresponsible language and urged passage for the overall budget.

The budget resolution passed 22-7, with majorities of both parties voting for it. President Obama signed the budget quickly after its passage.

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