Republican Leaders Push Budget Compromise: Few Real Cuts Mandated but Aspirational Cuts Remain in the Mix
Republicans who control both the House and Senate due to the November 2014 elections face their biggest test to date this week. Will they successfully navigate the minefields in order to pass a balanced budget compromise? Both chambers were able to narrowly pass separate bills without support from the Democratic minority. GOP leaders in the House and Senate have been working for weeks since then to reconcile the legislation passed in their chambers. In terms of total spending for fiscal year 2016, the bills were quite similar. Total spending was $3.789 trillion in the House bill and $3.8 trillion in the Senate bill. Both are some $200 billion less than the $4 trillion President Obama recommended in his budget.
Republicans in the House and Senate have now reached an agreement on which they will proceed to vote in their respective chambers. The agreement has been both loudly praised and vociferously condemned. Republican Leadership praised the agreement as the first since Apple introduced the iPad. One conservative Republican said the bill was an “exercise in avoidance putting politics before principle.” It will be a close vote to be sure but the compromise measure is expected to pass both chambers and be sent on to President Obama for his signature.