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Republican Senate Says No to Rand Paul’s Balanced Budget

By Elias Atienza

Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) renewed push to balance the budget was foiled yesterday when his amendment to Senate Continuing Resolution 3 was defeated 14-83. The Continuing Resolution was to “set the budget setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2017 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2018.”

The other thirteen Senators in support were all Republicans, including Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Tim Scott, Mike Crapo, Mike Lee, Pat Toomey, Steve Daines, John Kennedy, Jerry Moran, James Risch, Ben Sasse, James Lankford, and Jeff Flake.

The measure would have balanced the budget within five years while also retaining the guidelines for repealing the Affordable Care Act. Paul said to The Hill that his measure was a “conservative budget” that could appeal to both parties.

“I think there’s something in my version of a budget for both Republicans and Democrats because mine calls for freezes in spending, but would allow the different appropriations committees to decide where the spending should be cut,” Paul said to The Hill.

Senator Bernie Sanders told deficit hawks that they should vote for the measure, even though he did not vote for it in the end.

“I will not support him, because I understand that the cuts that he is proposing are devastating to working families, to the elderly, to the children, to the sick and the poor,” Sanders said to The Hill. “But all my Republican friends who year after year talk about the deficit, here’s a vote that you should cast.”
Sanders does have his own amendment to the Continuing Resolution which would attempt to prevent cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare, citing Trump’s promise not to cut the programs last year. The amendment would also prevent the Senate from privatizing any of the programs or block-granting them to the states, which is a part of the GOP’s welfare reform platform.

 

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