House Votes to Raise Budget Caps

December 13, 2013
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LAMBORN: "[M]y number one priority is to protect our nation's security. President Obama's reckless budget cuts are hurting our nation's security today."

LAMBORN: “[M]y number one priority is to protect our nation’s security. President Obama’s reckless budget cuts are hurting our nation’s security today.”

WASHINGTON — A majority of Colorado’s U.S. Representatives voted for a $1.012 trillion budget deal Thursday that would fund the federal government for the next 21 months.

None of the five lawmakers who voted for the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2013 expressed enthusiasm. Several members indicated that in a time of partisan gridlock in Washington,  the deal would reassure nervous markets and investors, would not raise taxes, and undo part of the automatic-across-the-board spending cuts that began last March.

Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) added the agreement did not raise taxes and the deal was the most prudent political and economic path to take for fiscal conservatives.

“The House has passed numerous budgets that would have balanced the budget, paid off the debt, but it’s become clear that Senate Democrats and the President are unwilling to even consider those plans,” Tipton said in a statement.

“It also puts a stop to budgeting from crisis to crisis, preventing future government shutdowns that create economic uncertainty,” Tipton added.

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) noted that lifting part of the sequester cuts would help constituents in his district, which has five military installations.

“There was good and bad in this legislation. However, my number one priority is to protect our nation’s security. President Obama’s reckless budget cuts are hurting our nation’s security today,” Lamborn said in a statement.

Rep. Diana DeGette protested the absence of a key economic safety provision in the deal, but suggested the partial lifting of the sequester was reason to support the agreement.

“I’m very concerned about the unemployment (benefits),” DeGette said in an interview Thursday before the vote. “I had a labor forum in Denver with people in their 50′s whose jobs have been eliminated and have no savings left. Having said that, I think the budget agreement is a compromise.”

Representatives Cory Gardner, a Yuma Republican, did not release a statement about his opposition to the deal.

Jared Polis, a Boulder Democrat who supported the agreement, too did not release a statement on his congressional website or Facebook page.

In a statement, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Golden) emphasized that the deal would provide economic stability.

The vote was 332 to 94. One-hundred-sixty Republicans joined 163 Democrats to support the bill, while 62 Republicans and 32 Democrats opposed it.

Yet deficit hawks opposed the deal.  The Club for Growth and Heritage Action were among the groups that denounced the legislation for not immediately imposing spending cuts in the federal budget.

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora), a champion of reforming defense spending, said he opposed the deal because it “breaks the budgets cap in defense spending without any real effort at reforming how the Pentagon operates.”

Underlying the disagreement among conservative Republicans was a battle between those who sought immediate cuts in federal spending and those who seek to reduce the deficit as a percentage of the economy.

Those who pushed  for immediate cuts could point to the fact that the deal would lift parts of the caps in the Budget Control Act of 2011. In addition, in September the Congressional Budget Office noted that the budget deficit from 2009 to 2012 was the largest recorded as a share of the Gross Domestic Product since 1946.

Those who seek to reduce the deficit as a share of the economy defended the lifting of the sequester caps as minor.

“For the next year and a half, it replaces 30 percent of it,” Rep. Paul Ryan, an architect of the deal, told TCO in an interview Thursday. The CBO report said the deficit in 2013 is projected to be the lowest since 2008 — four percent of GDP.

In addition, the agreement contains $63 billion in cuts over the next two years. They come from reductions in 24 programs, including a provision that would ask recent federal employees to pay more for their pension benefits.

President Obama has said he would sign the bill. The Democratic-controlled Senate is expected to pass it next week.

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2 Responses to House Votes to Raise Budget Caps

  1. Brian McFarlane
    December 13, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Not what I would want in a budget, but reality is that truly cutting the budget would never get past the Senate. The media, Senate and Obama would say it is the GOP, and especially “conservatives” that are “shutting down” the government, again. As far as perception goes the left/Dems would win with the public on that.

    The answer is to vote out career politicians in November and turn the Senate over to conservatives. I have no confidence in the American voter doing that though. I don’t have confidence in the Republican “establishment” actually cutting the budget either.

    So November 2014 probably is too soon to expect the Senate to get turned over to a majority that is conservative. Still the American voter needs to vote out career politicians in order for our reps to become accountable to the voter… we are doomed!

    • Bob Teery
      December 15, 2013 at 11:40 am

      I concur … but too bad we have those voters that think or wish what the Democrat party controlled Government has promised or said comes true … A road to ruin… Almost 8 years without a budget ( and the Constitution says will be done ) A Democrat controlled Senate and House while Bush was in…transparency per Queen Nancy..not so…Uncle barrack has promised the Moon on many issues and delivered on none…Harry Ried …well he’s for Harry and will whine about petty garbage …a dysfunctional Government… Even the CBO stated sorry folks contrary to Democratic Liberal talking points …the top 19 % are the taxpayers and the rest are on the dole …Like the Titanic …we’re listing taking on water and the final resting point is at the bottom… Thanks barrack Thanks nancy Thanks harry and special thanks to the uninformed who voted on a promise that will never be kept

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