The House passed a two-year budget agreement that would raise spending by roughly $320 billion and suspend the debt ceiling until 2021.
The House passed H.R. 3877, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019, featuring bipartisan support for the two-year agreement. The bill passed with 284-149 votes, featuring strong Democrat support for the measure and limited Republican support. Over 200 Democrats voted for the bill, while less than 70 Republicans backed it. Roughly 132 Republicans voted against the bill.
President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that House Republicans should pass the two-year so that the spending bill helps the military and American veterans. The agreement would also increase spending for the Department of Defense (DOD), a priority for Republican as well as domestic spending, one of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) priorities.
The budget agreement arose out of a split Congress, in which President Trump had to negotiate with congressional Democrat leaders such as Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on a long-term budget deal.
Trump said, “House Republicans should support the TWO YEAR BUDGET AGREEMENT which greatly helps our Military and our Vets. I am totally with you!”
House Republicans should support the TWO YEAR BUDGET AGREEMENT which greatly helps our Military and our Vets. I am totally with you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2019
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said that the bill “Secures important policies victories that no conservative can or should dismiss” such as the Hyde Amendment protections and preventing poison pills from entering the bill.
McCarthy added that the budget agreement would prevent organizations such as Planned Parenthood from using Title X money as their “personal piggy bank.”
Trump also cheered that the budget had no “poison pills,” including measures that would block President Trump from using his national emergency authority to reappropriate funding to build a wall along the southern border.
Not only does the bill not have poison pills, but it would also protect the Hyde Amendment for two more years, which prevents federal dollars funding abortion.
The budget agreement would end the Budget Control Act, which former President Barack Obama signed at the behest of congressional Republicans and pushed the government onto the brink of defaulting on the national debt to pass. The Budget Control Act was once seen as a signature achievement of congressional Republicans in the Obama era, which set spending limits, which would be enforced with automatic spending cuts.
However, House conservatives have voiced concerns about the bill’s adding to the national deficit. The House Freedom Caucus came out against the budget agreement Tuesday.
“The House Freedom Caucus has grave concerns about this budget agreement and will oppose it on the House floor. Our country is undeniably headed down a path of fiscal insolvency and rapidly approaching $23 trillion in debt,” the Freedom Caucus said in a statement.
The House Freedom Caucus board members, including Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC), Jody Hice (R-GA), and Warren Davidson (R-OH), released an oped in USA Today Thursday, saying:
This is a bad deal for the president. It’s a bad deal for conservatives. Most importantly, it’s a bad deal for the forgotten men and women who voted to shake up Washington, D.C. when they sent President Trump to the White House. This is not draining the swamp — it’s feeding the swamp and entrenching the status quo.
The conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC) also came out against the budget agreement saying:
It is terribly disappointing that Democrats in Congress rejected even modest proposals from the White House to rein in excessive and wasteful government spending. What has resulted is a massive spending deal that will further indebt future generations and remove reasonable safeguards to prevent the growth of government and the misuse of taxpayer dollars.
“Our nation is more than $22 trillion in debt and simply cannot afford reckless measures like this one,” the RSC added.
Meadows, Hice, and Davidson said in their op-ed that Congress should come together to “find bipartisan ways to cut spending, balance our budget and get our crumbling fiscal house on a sustainable foundation for the future.”
“At the bare minimum, we should freeze spending and prevent America’s budget deficits from skyrocketing further out of control — bankrupting our children and grandchildren,” the House conservatives added.