DEBT DEAL EVISCERATES PREVIOUSLY AGREED UPON CUTS
|| By ROBERT ROMANO || “We can’t stop it. He’s in league with the Democrats.”
That was U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie’s (R-Ky.) reaction to a deal by outgoing House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the White House to suspend the debt ceiling until March 2017.
The measure is expected to require Democrat votes to get across the finish line, and opened up fresh wounds in the House Republican Conference that has been reeling since Boehner’s announced retirement on Sept. 25.
The legislation, in addition to lifting the debt limit, also ends budget sequestration by increasing domestic and defense spending by $80 billion the next two years above the spending caps. And it bails out the Social Security Disability Trust Fund, which the program’s trustees had reported was set to run out of funds in late 2016.
“The irony is that Boehner’s only major achievement as Speaker was budget sequestration that slowed down the growth of the debt for three years. Sadly that achievement is wiped away by this parting shot. It is rare that an outgoing Speaker would take an eraser to his own legacy,” Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning noted in a statement.
Even presumed incoming Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) blasted the deal, saying on CNN, “I think the process stinks. This is not the way to do the people’s business, and under new management, we are not going to do the people’s business this way. We are up against a deadline. That’s unfortunate. But going forward, as a conference, we should have been meeting months ago to discuss these things, to have a unified strategy going forward.”
Unfortunately for Ryan, except for two upcoming continuing resolutions, there might not be that much else for the new Speaker to work on before the November 2016 elections.
And he has nobody to thank but John Boehner, who had hinted on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sept. 27 that he would be legislating aggressively prior to leaving. “I want to clean the barn up a little bit before the next person gets there,” Boehner had said.
What he apparently really meant was he intended to run the table on K Street’s agenda …
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