Senate Democrats say they have the votes to stop government funding....
Knowing the Governor Rauner would veto a budget that included tax increases, House Democrats left town without voting on a Senate-passed budget. The governor said all along he would only sign a budget with tax increases if it included reforms like workman's comp or a property tax freeze, two things Democrats have passed but the governor said the bills don't go far enough. "The majority of the House has shown no interest in any real changes to the system but I hope we can work something out with senators and then all of us together, Democrats and Republicans, put pressure on the House majority so they aren't just loyal to their political positions, they actually want to do things that are good for the people of Illinois," Governor Rauner said. "I believe we can get there, we just got to stay persistent."
With Republicans in control of both House and Senate, the backroom omnibus spending bill that was unveiled yesterday should have been an opportunity to advance the conservative agenda across a very broad front. No doubt there are a few good aspects to the bill. But, as Paul noted earlier, it strikes a blow against education and against the Constitution by expanding funding for the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.
Some House Republicans had proposed the former debt limit — which was set to expire Tuesday — to leverage more spending cuts from the administration. Outgoing House speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, put together a plan to avoid breaching the debt limit, saying that doing so would threaten the nation's credit rating. The bill sets the federal budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, with an end to spending caps that had affected both national defense and domestic programs. "By locking in two years of funding," Obama said, "it should finally free us from the cycle of shutdown threats and last-minute fixes. It allows us to, therefore, plan for the future."The two-year budget deal was passed by the Senate Friday with a vote of 64-35. All 35 dissenting votes were Republican. Several Senate Republicans vocally opposed the budget deal which essentially robs the Social Security Trust Fund of about $150 billion. Senator Lee referred to the bill as, "the last gasping breath of a disgraced bipartisan Beltway establishment on the verge of collapse."
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