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Senate Reaches Bipartisan Deal to Keep the Government Open By Spending More Money On Everything

Both parties agree on more spending and bigger deficits.

Ron Sachs/SIPA/NewscomRon Sachs/SIPA/NewscomAfter weeks of negotiation, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have reached the outlines of a spending deal that would avert a government shutdown.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the deal "the first real sprout of bipartisanship," and said he hoped it would "break the long cycle of spending crises that have snarled Congress." Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the chamber's top Republican, called the agreement a "significant bipartisan step forward" and suggested that it could help "make 2018 a year of significant achievement for Congress."

So how did the two sides finally come together? They decided to spend more—on everything. And they'll worry about paying for it later (or maybe not at all).

The Senate bill would lift current federal spending limits by about $315 billion through 2019, according to The Washington Post. The bill also includes $90 billion in disaster aid funding, making for a total of roughly $400 billion in spending.

The deal placates Republican defense hawks by boosting spending for the military, lifting the spending cap put in place by the 2013 sequester agreement by $80 billion this year and $85 billion next year.

The deal pairs the boost in defense spending with a roughly equal increase in domestic spending. On the homefront, the plan includes $10 billion for infrastructure spending, as well as billions for federal health initiatives, including $6 billion to respond to the opioid crisis, $7 billion for community health centers, and a decade-long extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), up from the six-year extension Congress passed earlier this year.

All this additional spending will, of course, significantly increase the budget deficit.

The deal follows a House vote yesterday that passed a separate spending bill. But that bill was thought to be largely dead on arrival since the Senate would negotiate its own deal, which the House would eventually accept.

For the moment, however, it is not entirely clear whether the House will accept the deal. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said as the deal as announced that she and many fellow Democrats would oppose the deal unless there is a separate vote on immigration legislation. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has declined to make any commitment to holding an immigration vote.

Some House Republicans, meanwhile, have already objected to the bill on the grounds that it spends way too much money.

Amash is likely to be relatively lonely in his objections to the bill, however. In the end, this agreement, or something similar, will probably become law with plenty of Republican support.

Republican leadership in Congress spent the better part of the Obama years warning that mounting debt posed a dire threat to the nation's future. But now, with control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, it looks likely that the GOP's two most signifcant legislative achievements will be a tax reform law that raises the deficit by $1.5 trillion and a spending deal that increases the federal tab by hundreds of billions more.

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  • Stormy Dragon||

    Glad we passed that giant tax cut in December so we could maximize the budget busting.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Like I said before, the tax cut is pure Keneysian deficit spending.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I have nothing but pessimism about national debt. We have consistently seen that voters simply do not care.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Why should they? They don't see any direct perceivable impact on their lives.

  • BYODB||

    Unfortunately because so few of us actually have savings...go ahead and put all your cash in a savings account and watch yourself become literally poorer as time goes on.

  • silver.||

    Keynesian economics, let's all be poor together!

  • BYODB||

    Negative interest rates are already here, but it's so gussied up no one really gives a shit.

  • Cloudbuster||

    And the people like me who actually do have savings have inflation-resistant investments and assets Deficit-spending hits the poor the hardest.

  • silver.||

    Future rich person here, bring me the stakes and start the bonfire.

  • Eric Bana||

    A savings account beyond an emergency fund or short-term liquid holding is for chumps. Low-fee stock index funds are where it's at, baby.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Except for this week.

  • MichaelL||

    I am afraid that they government would just find another way to empty any bank account that I get! Last one that i had was all of $45 and by the time they got finished the bank wanted about $350 to close it out! In the end, I got the better deal. As they say, "They can't bleed a turnip!" And, tax, uncollected for ten years, goes away!

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Man, my shocked face is just completely worn out. Does anybody know where i can get a new one?

  • Libertymike||

    Yes, at Michael Hihn's House of Anthroposcopy, Facial Reconstruction and Physiognomy.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I told you this would happen if you kept inviting Crusty over to your house.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    My flexibility is quite shocking.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Crusty is just a face that appears on the back of my head sometimes. It's unpleasant for everybody.

  • Libertymike||

    Budget impasse?

    Just agree to more guns and more butter. Problem solved.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Oh, hell no, you can't short my bread & circuses for your guns & butter!

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I just want to know if there was any epic trollig in this process, because that's all that matters to me.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    If you take every page of the bill and lay it out in order in a square you get a picture of Rick Astley's face.

  • BYODB||

    ...I'd vote for anyone who promised to do that, sadly.

  • Rhywun||

    I think I saw that X-Files.

  • BYODB||

    Finally, something everyone can agree on. Spending us into the poorhouse!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    You have to spend money to make money. Obviously.

  • silver.||

    I too use economic idioms to dictate my attempts at controlling the markets of an entire nation.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I ain't ever been lead astray by an idiom. All are true. If it rhymes it's twice true.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "Only Sith speak in absolutes." - Q, from Firefly
  • Pro Libertate||

    Except when Jedi do it.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Or do not it.

  • Leader Desslok||

    So say we all!

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    ^winner

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But at least we avoided the shutdown at all cost because that's the worst possible thing.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    This was never going to end with no spending increases.

  • Pro Libertate||

    SHUT. . .IT. . .DOWN.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    The FBI had an easier time shutting down the power at Nakatomi Plaza.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Ah, the days when the FBI was merely incompetent.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Their playbook was in the hands of thieving terrorists!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Why do we have federal criminal laws, anyway?

  • Libertymike||

    Larry Sharpe would make deals with the likes of Paul Rino Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and Chuck U. Schumer.

    Arvin Vohra, nope.

    That is why Arvin Vohra is superior to Sharpe who has demonstrated that he would prefer to schmooze with the statists so that he might receive a few crumbs. Sharpe, ultimately, is a cuck who will succumb to the statists.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Wrong thread?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Nope.

  • Libertymike||

    Right.

  • Libertymike||

    BUCS, the point I am making is that in a real world application of dueling libertarian positions embraced by Sharpe and Vohra, respectively, the former is more apt to capitulate to the statists and the latter, not so much. In the real world, this means that Sharpe would be all for piling on more debt and more programs and more spending whereas Vohra would SHUT THE FUCKER DOWN.

  • MarkLastname||

    Vohra wouldn't even be able to convince his parents to vote for him for city council.

  • Libertymike||

    Perhaps his parents are, or have been, on a public payroll.

  • Libertarian||

    "The deal pairs the boost in defense spending with a roughly equal increase in domestic spending."

    This is what Nancy Pelosi calls a balanced budget.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Republican leadership in Congress spent the better part of the Obama years warning that mounting debt posed a dire threat to the nation's future.


    And if you thought those warnings were sincere, then you haven't been paying attention.

  • Libertarian||

    The increase in debt "caused" by the tax cut that the Democrats were up in arms about just a few weeks ago was $1.5T over 10 years, or $150B per year. This monstrosity is $400B in just one year. And even that is just the "new" red ink, not the total red ink.

  • BYODB||

    So in other words, we should be for more taxes in this scenario since cutting spending is absolutely, and certainly, not on the table under any circumstances?

    Discuss.

  • Libertarian||

    I was merely pointing out hypocrisy. But I think the old idea - which I held in my younger days - that cutting taxes would encourage decreases in spending has been proven wishful thinking.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Silly goose. You forgot all about credit cards.

  • BYODB||

    Correct, so the rational response is to increase taxation since it is a foregone and true conclusion that spending will not go down. If spending is cut, people die, so it just can't be allowed to happen.

    It's really the only responsible thing to do, but since this is a Democracy we'll make sure only a minority of people feel the pain so that the policy has virtually no chance of being unpopular.

    Sarcasm, yes, but accurate sarcasm.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Look, it's quite simple. Revenues should exceed deficits every year.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Hahahahahahahaha!

  • Pro Libertate||

    I guess the real question is how long we can get away with it.

  • Libertarian||

    If you figure that one out, please let me know about a week ahead of time. Thanks in advance.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Heck if I know. I thought we were already screwed, but we keep getting away with it.

    Such leadership provided by our government. And such wisdom shown by our citizens.

  • Libertarian||

    I know I'm at a loss. In the 80s, under Reagan, the debt grew from about $1T to almost $3T. If you had asked most economists back then if we could survive a $21T in debt, I doubt they would have been optimistic.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I guess we're going to find out.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    We're all going to die from global warming any day now, so spent spend spend!

  • ace_m82||

    No, revenues should equal outlays. Otherwise they steal more than they need.

    Since Congress is so bad at math, here is my simple proposal:

    Outlays = 0
    Revenues = 0

    Anyone can understand that. Then government isn't persecuting anyone by regulating or taxing. It's a win, win!

  • Pro Libertate||

    I was being nice. I'd usually say, "No, fuck you, cut spending."

  • Rockabilly||

    Excellent news!!

    Put it on my Super Duper Gold Card with the bonus points !!!

    Uncle Sam

  • Jayburd||

    Heard on NPR today. The usual reporter interviewing another reporter, "Think of the deficit as the Government's 'credit card'".

  • MarkLastname||

    'And the bank account with which they will ultimately pay the credit card bill is... your bank account'

  • Rebel Scum||

    Well the one thing the parties can agree on is always spend moar.

  • Libertarian||

    That's why it's always important to vote republican.

  • Libertymike||

    And Larry Sharpe. He wants to appeal to the mainstream. He does not want to offend the communist, progressive, socialist constituencies.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    But they don't have cool celebrities at their parties

  • Freonpsandoz||

    The GOP says that the tax cuts enacted for the wealthy will create massive economic growth, leading to more tax revenues, not less. This means that there will be plenty of money to pay for increased spending. Unless trickle-down economics is a lie.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's not that there isn't some truth to that reasoning, but the larger reality is that there's so much deficit spending and debt that tax revenues are irrelevant.

  • BYODB||

    I triple dog dare you to find 'trickle-down' economics in any textbook beyond an analysis of why it doesn't exist as a theory at all. You see, it was a slogan. Not a thing.

  • creech||

    Have they released the artistic rendering of the $1 trillion coin yet? Are the printing presses and plates inked at the Bureau of Printing and Engraving?

  • Joseph C. Moore (USN Ret.||

    More spending? HELL NO! Military needs to be recalled from all those self sufficient countries to guard the Home Front. Cancel ALL those un-constitutional programs. Fire most all of the Unessential Government (workers?). Spending should go DOWN and the DEBT should go from Unconscionable to Manageable (like 15% of the GNP). If those a**h**** in congress cannot manage that, RECALL them. I am greatly fed up with the mismanagement of our money and resources by those self-aggrandizing morons who cannot understand the parameters of the Constitution of our Republic.

  • Eric Bana||

    I fail to see how someone who is even pro-military legitimately wants more military spending when the U.S. already spends more than the next ten countries combined, or whatever the hell that number is.

  • flyfishnevada||

    I'm all for more spending on the men and women who serve. But they rarely get much. It all goes to contractors or gets wasted.

  • Trigger Warning||

    Is McConnell or Schumer a more disgusting physical specimen?

  • Eric Bana||

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Trigger Warning||

    I'm sure someone enjoys oleaginous, flabby weaklings, men who are pink and soft with generous b-cup moobs. Hihn, perhaps. They are a sickening physical representation of the legislative body.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Both.

  • flyfishnevada||

    "make 2018 a year of significant achievement for Congress."

    God, let's hope not...

  • Ned Netterville||

    "So how did the two sides finally come together? They decided to spend more—on everything. And they'll worry about paying for it later (or maybe not at all)."

    Do trees grow to the sky? The growth path of government spending traces the exponential path of Bitcoin's price at the time it was hitting $20,000. BTC's exponential curve had flattened to straight up. Talk of BTC $100,000 was in the air. I looked out my window to see if the top of the silver maple in the front yard was in the clouds. OMG, it was! I ran out the door and began climbing. A pot of gold was sure to be found among the cumulus nimbus. My dreams were all coming true.

    As I climbed, I glanced down. Who was that dude on the ground and what was he doing with a chain saw? He had a mane of reddish yellow hair and I can hear him blowing hard.

  • Marc St. Stephen||

    "Republican leadership in Congress spent the better part of the Obama years warning that mounting debt posed a dire threat to the nation's future. But now, with control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, it looks likely that the GOP's two most signifcant legislative achievements will be a tax reform law that raises the deficit by $1.5 trillion and a spending deal that increases the federal tab by hundreds of billions more."

    Got to be fair - do the Republicans have 60 seats in the Senate?, then no they don't really control the Senate do they? I'm not saying that with 60 seats they'd actually cut debt and deficit, but without 60 seats they couldn't if they wanted to because "shutdown is Republicans fault" (notwithstanding the aberrant blame dems got a month ago, but yes with Trumps recent tweets).

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Are you entering an "Onion" essay contest with that?

  • Tony||

    The party of personal responsibility ladies and gentlemen.

  • MichaelL||

    I am afraid that they government would just find another way to empty any bank account that I get! Last one that i had was all of $45 and by the time they got finished the bank wanted about $350 to close it out! In the end, I got the better deal. As they say, "They can't bleed a turnip!" And, tax, uncollected for ten years, goes away!

  • Rockabilly||

    Man, just look at the picture of those jack asses.

    This bill is like porn to them.

    Chuck is reading and Mitch is grinning - oh wow man - ohhh - and Paul is very interested in it all likes he's the peeper

    what a bunch of pervs.

  • TxJack 112||

    This is what the establishment parties do, spend our money on their pet projects to keep their donors happy. Another reason we need to fight for term limits. We need to have a Convention of States, amend the Constitution and put an end to this insanity.

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