President Barack Obama on Friday won the Congressional legislation that averts a national default on government debt and sets the spending priorities for the next two years.
After a hard struggle in Congress, the Senate voted 64-35 in approval of the measure. The measure was negotiated by President Obama and the White House and the congressional leaders, both Democrat and Republican, including the former House Speaker John Boehner.
The deadline for the measure was the 3rd of November and if it was not met, the Treasury Department would have used its borrowing capacity and risk a national default on U.S. obligation that could stir global financial markets.
With this measure Congress is set for new spending levels for the fiscal year starting on the 1st of October and ending on the 1st of October, 2016. The budget caps are raised and an additional $80 billion in military spending, as well as domestic spending has been allowed.
However, another deadline is looming with the threat of a partial government shutdown on the 11th of December if Congress does not negotiate an allocation of budget-line items.
According to Reuters, Obama called on Congress to regulate the issue “by getting to work on spending bills that invest in America’s priorities without getting sidetracked by ideological provisions that have no place in America’s budget process.” However, conservatives have been eager to defund the women’s health care provider Planned Parenthood, which receives federal money, in order to punish them for alleged sale of aborted fetal tissue. Their agenda also includes repealing Dodd-Frank, a Wall Street reform from the 2008 financial crisis, as well as a prohibition of new regulation on carbon emission.
The deal was negotiated with a bipartisan effort, but came into opposition by Republican Senators, including U.S. Presidential hopefuls Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas.
According to Reuters, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the Congressional Leaders that helped in the deal negotiation said that the deal was good because it does not increase taxes and noted that it would “enact the most significant reform to Social Security since 1983.”
However, his fellow Republicans were not as eager as he was in praising the deal. Rand Paul made an hour long speech and stated “The right’s going to get more military money. The left’s going to get more welfare money. The secret handshake goes on and the American public gets stuck with the bill.” He was supported by Senator Ted Cruz who stated that the Republican Majority is “handing the President a blank card for the remainder of his tenure.”
The measure clears the ground for the new House Speaker Paul Ryan to begin his leadership of the House.