Republicans pass budgets in both House and Senate, trim $5.1 trillion in spending

posted at 8:01 am on March 27, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

Remember when a disagreement between Republicans on the budget was “cataclysmic” for GOP claims to governance? Democrats last passed a normal budget resolution six years ago, but Republicans went all of seven days before both chambers finally passed budget resolutions. Our long national nightmare, at least as envisioned by Politico, is over:

The Senate passed a Republican-authored budget plan early on Friday that seeks $5.1 trillion in domestic spending cuts over 10 years while boosting military funding.

The 52-46 vote on the non-binding budget resolution put Congress on a path to complete its first full budget in six years. It came at the end of a marathon 18-hour session that saw approval of dozens of amendments ranging from Iran sanctions to carbon emissions and immigration policies.

The House passed its budget resolution on Wednesday after a similar process of debate and amendment. Some journalists might be unfamiliar with this process after six years of Democratic Party grandstanding under the cataclysmic leadership of Harry Reid, but this is called “regular order” budgeting. Reid’s decision to abandon that process was what led to several years of budgeting by brinksmanship, “fiscal cliffs,” debt-ceiling standoffs, and the like.

Oddly, Politico didn’t seem to recall those cataclysms at the beginning of a normal budget process. Hmmmm.

Of course, the two budget resolutions still have to be reconciled, which will take a conference committee to resolve the differences. That’s also a part of the normal budget process, rendered exceptional by Reid and his cohort in their attempts to aggrandize the executive branch by breaking the legislative. It’s also where Republicans plan to take a page out of Reid’s playbook to challenge Barack Obama:

In addition to aiming to eliminate deficits within 10 years, both documents seek to ease the path for a repeal or replacement of President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law.

But differences between the two documents still need to be worked out and a combined budget passed next month by both chambers. Doing so would allow Republicans to invoke parliamentary rules to repeal “Obamacare” with a simple majority in the Senate rather than a tough-to-achieve 60 vote threshold.

Funny how that worked out, eh? What a coinky-dink. Looks like Republican leadership can actually, y’know, govern.

The budget resolutions themselves still have a lot of room for criticism, of course. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul both opposed the final budget resolution in the Senate because it did not cut enough spending over the next ten years, and conservatives had hoped to roll back more of the encroachment in federal governance that has grown over the last generation. The conference committee will not help in that regard, as it will operate on the two budget resolutions to close the gap for the final conference reports.

There’s not much that Barack Obama can do about it, either. Budget resolutions don’t become law; they just act as a framework for the appropriations bills that come later, and which Obama does have the ability to block. The real fights on the budget will come this summer, as those appropriations bills work their way through a similar process. Still, it’s the first time in six years that Congress has done its job at all, let alone on time. The return to regular order may end up being the best argument Republicans make for continued control of Congressional leadership for the 2016 election.


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Comments

Wait a minute. Washington? Something worked? For the good guys? Is this THE ONION?

james hooker on March 27, 2015 at 8:08 AM

Reid says he is going to retire, he could have saved the country if he did that 6 years ago.

tim c on March 27, 2015 at 8:10 AM

About dang time

Crickets this am on lsm….hmmmm

cmsinaz on March 27, 2015 at 8:10 AM

Is that $5T $500B per year, or mostly weighted in the last one or two (which means it will never happen)?

Count to 10 on March 27, 2015 at 8:11 AM

Fare the well? Maybe s/b Fare thee well? But I haven’t had any coffee yet…

cynccook on March 27, 2015 at 8:11 AM

The 5 people who take Politico seriously are outraged.

mitchellvii on March 27, 2015 at 8:15 AM

Oh yeh!! …. Sarc… It doesn’t mean anything yet

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on March 27, 2015 at 8:16 AM

Heard Dirty Harry’s retiring…. there goes my dream of him reading the writing on the (prison) wall.

SteveInRTP on March 27, 2015 at 8:18 AM

Reid is retiring so he can work out with boys….er, oh sorry….rubber bands full time.

elvis lives on March 27, 2015 at 8:21 AM

Is that $5T $500B per year, or mostly weighted in the last one or two (which means it will never happen)?

Count to 10 on March 27, 2015 at 8:11 AM

Good point. One thing though, now that there is a non-binding budget resolution, reconciliation can come into play if the Republicans want to go that route. Reconciliation process can not be filibustered. Sure President Obama will veto any repel of The ACA, but he might have to deal with a tax overhaul or a fix for social security over what has just been agreed upon.

We shall see.

HonestLib on March 27, 2015 at 8:23 AM

Now Reid can go full Mob and pay taxes on putting hits on mob competition in Vegas.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2015 at 8:24 AM

A budget – what is that?

gophergirl on March 27, 2015 at 8:28 AM

$5.1 trillion in domestic spending cuts over 10 years

Weak sauce.

That’s not even a cut, that’s just over spending less fast than before.

LoganSix on March 27, 2015 at 8:31 AM

Why someday they may even go back to funding the government agency by agency, department by department…like they are supposed to.

I am not holding my breath as R’s like the slush-fund approach as much as D’s do. Because eliminating that approach then binds the Executive and makes it much harder to move funds between agencies and departments.

Mind you this is what Boehner promised in 2010 and then broke with immediately. That was the last truly conservative idea he ever uttered.

ajacksonian on March 27, 2015 at 8:34 AM

Yeah, I’m sure they are really cutting. They are spending billions more on a “doc fix” for Medicare and Obamacare is only going to get more and more costly over time.

rickv404 on March 27, 2015 at 8:37 AM

In addition to aiming to eliminate deficits within 10 years

Why not in 1 year? If you can’t find the cuts now, you certainly won’t find the cuts 10 years from now.

LoganSix on March 27, 2015 at 8:38 AM

It’ll never pass…way way too racist, and does not give Obama everything he wants demands, and all those social programs (you know the kind, payola to friends of Barry) will not get full funding…how ya gonna keep your friends happy with free money if the nasty GOP takes away the checkbook?

And Reid and Pelosi and all the rest of the thugs will demand that we do it the way we’ve always done it, the historical way, you know, continuing resolutions every other month, because budgeting is hard, and makes it tougher to sneak in favorite programs…and following the Constitution makes Congress co-equal to the White House and we all know that can’t be true.

Seriously?

If the GOP-led Congress wants to not only pass a real budget and be able to override any Obama veto they damn well better go through it all line by line and ANY pork, ANYTHING that even looks like spending money on “pet” projects, ALL favoritism, payback to donors, well, IF there is anything in this new budget proposed by both houses that looks hinkey, the Dems will be all over it (hypocrisy, I know) and the White House will have yet another meme for the electorate…GOP kills children while giving money to corporate donors…and the whole thing will turn to sh*t before you can raise a gavel.

And if funding for the F-35 program is included ANYWHERE

Well, nothing has changed.

coldwarrior on March 27, 2015 at 8:44 AM

gophergirl on March 27, 2015 at 8:28 AM

Ah, to be young enough to not remember the last time a budget was passed…

cozmo on March 27, 2015 at 8:49 AM

Ah, to be young enough to not remember the last time a budget was passed…

cozmo on March 27, 2015 at 8:49 AM

Oh I’m not that young but bless you for thinking so.

gophergirl on March 27, 2015 at 8:52 AM

trim $5.1 trillion in spending

Comedy gold Ed. Amazing that some people actually believe your headline. Meanwhile they are voting to spend real money on the ‘doc fix’ and SCHIP program.

Wigglesworth on March 27, 2015 at 8:52 AM

The regular order budget having been passed in the Senate and if you watched it on CSPAN at all, which is the only place there is a glimmer of hope of getting primary resource journalism, you would have seen this regular order budget has been tested by democrats, offering their amendments and mostly having them shot down, however, they influence the wording of the outcome, making it a BI PARTISAN effort, therefore, a compromise.

It does not need to be compromised more on, because it IS the compromise, but democrats always see the compromise bill as the starting point for negotiations, and that is why Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are right, instead of working out a perfectly balanced working budget, the republicans need to start with an Out of balanced, right leaning budget, and then let the democrats start with the amendments, because the GOP treat their effort, traditionally so, as the product instead of the jumping off point. Of course the democrats have been misbehaving and acting juvenile everytime they see some buzzword issue in a bill, (a.k.a. abortion etc.) and they actually wanted this vehicle on the floor and passed, because it could be the Reconcillation Bus. And it had to move on the floor. Reconcilliation can move without a filibuster.

We have not had anything to conference yet, so the final bill is still unseen, but that can go in any direction depending on who the republicans appoint to the team. It would be a good idea for people to read the budgets and react by email and phone to suggest more spending cuts, specifically where you see them.

If you don’t tell your reps what you want now and get in their face you are missing a golden opportunity, you need to be loud. The opposition is there being loud and crying “the children…”

The only hope for this problem of the bill already in its compromise version is for the GOP to state that if their budget is not signed and implemented, the next one will be LESS spending…and on and on…and the sooner he signs it, the more spending the president will be left with. So he will EAT HIS PEAS.

Fleuries on March 27, 2015 at 9:08 AM

Sure, they have shown a few people they can govern. Obama will be out mocking them as usual before the ink dries.

How about some sound bites from the GOP leaders? If a tree falls in a forest, or a budget is passed, and no one sees it…

PattyJ on March 27, 2015 at 9:15 AM

I take this with a grain of salt. Boehner and McConnel will never repeal Obamacare. They and the other RINOs will just say they will and then kick the can down the road. It will probably be used as a bargaining chip. Same way with amnesty. They never mind appearing to be be something but actually doing something is usually not in the cards.

fight like a girl on March 27, 2015 at 9:17 AM

…to be doing something…

Sorry about that.

fight like a girl on March 27, 2015 at 9:18 AM

Is that $5T $500B per year, or mostly weighted in the last one or two (which means it will never happen)?

Count to 10 on March 27, 2015 at 8:11 AM

…oh oh!…you’re on to them!

1!

JugEarsButtHurt on March 27, 2015 at 9:21 AM

Wait a minute. Washington? Something worked? For the good guys? Is this THE ONION?

james hooker on March 27, 2015 at 8:08 AM

Budget resolutions are like campaign promises. After Obama vetoes the bills, the Republicans will fold like cheap suits so that they’re not accused of shutting down the government. Only a few of them have the backbone for that fight.

cajunpatriot on March 27, 2015 at 9:23 AM

heh.

look at you guys congratulating yourselves for kinda sorta barely passing a non-binding resolution

everdiso on March 27, 2015 at 9:25 AM

Cold Warrior has it right. The electorate has no clue what regular order is, if it ever did. Legislation by crisis has been going on for so long that anything else would be ‘boring’ and unworthy of any attention, except when the Dims continue to blame the racist, obstructionist ‘pubs as wanting all children to DIE. The msm will keep up the same sycophantic drumbeat.

vnvet on March 27, 2015 at 9:37 AM

Republican shell game. I don’t buy one penny of it from a party of liars.

Mr. Arrogant on March 27, 2015 at 9:54 AM

The Obama experience has shown that no aspect or facet of the American government that is not written out completely with consequences specified to be ordered by a court (and not the administration’s Justice Department) has no meaning.

No Democrat President or Congress will ever be bound to do anything, ever again, that a court can’t undo on its own.

The Constitution says we have to pass a budget? Great. How many armies has the Constitution?

TimesUp on March 27, 2015 at 10:00 AM

heh.

look at you guys congratulating yourselves for kinda sorta barely passing a non-binding resolution

everdiso on March 27, 2015 at 9:25 AM

Perhaps we should act like the democrats and wait six years?

Teach me how to Bucky on March 27, 2015 at 10:02 AM

The Senate passed a Republican-authored budget plan early on Friday that seeks $5.1 trillion in domestic spending cuts over 10 years while boosting military funding.

I hope the increase in the military budget was significant enough to prepare for the global instability that The Liar-in-Chiefs foreign policy failures have created.

bobthm3 on March 27, 2015 at 10:06 AM

heh.

look at you guys congratulating yourselves for kinda sorta barely passing a non-binding resolution

everdiso on March 27, 2015 at 9:25 AM

Something your guys couldn’t do. Proud?

Vince on March 27, 2015 at 10:08 AM

Harry Reid would not have let this happen in the senate. I applaud McConnell at least for this.

jake49 on March 27, 2015 at 10:09 AM

If there is any positive side to this, it is the long game. All this budget resolution has to do is survive 2 and a half years until a President Ted Cruz and a Republican Congress can sign budgets based on it into law.

oscarwilde on March 27, 2015 at 10:10 AM

Trim $5.1 trillion

Trim? More like axemaggedon. Kind of like a nuclear Sequester.

HopeHeFails on March 27, 2015 at 11:13 AM

$5.1 trillion in domestic spending cuts over 10 years

Weak sauce.

That’s not even a cut, that’s just over spending less fast than before.

LoganSix on March 27, 2015 at 8:31 AM

So much of this was designed / intended for propaganda and optics by the GOPe. Rather than the $4T Obama wanted, they’ve decided to spend $3.8T – not including $100B in off-budget contingency spending to cover military operations in FY2016.

Apparently, we’re supposed to think that a fiscal victory is obtained when spending isn’t really reduced, just set to increase at a slower rate (like the growth of government) than what the progressives sought to spend.

It’s good that Cruz and Paul voted against this budget. I saw earlier this week a political cartoon that summarized the budget perfectly:

Obama was standing next to a unicorn, with Boehner and McConnell standing next to the front half of a unicorn. The caption – Obama’s budget is 100% fantasy, the GOP budget is 50% fantasy.

This is just more kabuki theater, smoke and mirrors, and kicking the can down the road – with a healthy dose of going along to get along. It’s also about all that we’re going to get from the morons in the Vichy wing of the GOP.

Athos on March 27, 2015 at 11:25 AM

Republicans pass budgets in both House and Senate, trim $5.1 trillion in spending

A more accurate statement would be that the budget guts 5.1 trillion from programs to help the poor, in favor of helping the wealthy. In other words exactly like every other GOP budget of the last 30 years.

Is Obama expected to sign it?

Tlaloc on March 27, 2015 at 12:07 PM

If there is any positive side to this, it is the long game. All this budget resolution has to do is survive 2 and a half years until a President Ted Cruz and a Republican Congress can sign budgets based on it into law.

oscarwilde on March 27, 2015 at 10:10 AM

You really think that 2016 will elect republican president and senate don;t you? In defiance of all evidence and past precedent…

That’s sort of charmningly naive. Like a child believing in Santa.

Tlaloc on March 27, 2015 at 12:09 PM

$5.1 trillion in cuts over 10 years?

How stupid does the GOP think we are? (Don’t answer that one.)

Cuts, other than military budget cuts, never last more than a year or two before Congress restores them and then doubles down on the spending.

Stop trying to make me think you are doing something by claiming credit for cuts that will never happen.

How about you just cut a $750 billion THIS YEAR?

****ing idiots.

Over50 on March 27, 2015 at 1:47 PM

Oh I dream of the day when Congress and the President get together and actually cut entire departments and privatize Social Security, but no. We will all fall off the cliff together.

Decoski on March 27, 2015 at 2:02 PM

The $5.1 trillion spending cut is the FAKE non-binding budget “hopes.”

The first step in the REAL GOP budgeting was passed earlier in the week with an extra $100 billion in Medicare and S-CHIP spending that was not paid for,

Clark1 on March 27, 2015 at 2:47 PM