WASHINGTON (AP) — A hard-won budget and debt deal easily cleared the Senate today, powered by President Donald Trump’s endorsement and a bipartisan drive to cement recent spending increases for the Pentagon and domestic agencies.
The legislation passed by a 67-28 vote as Trump and his GOP allies relied on lots of Democratic votes to propel it over the finish line.
Passage marked a drama-free solution to a worrisome set of looming Washington deadlines as both allies and adversaries of the president set aside ideology in exchange for relative fiscal peace and stability. The measure, which Trump has promised to sign, would permit the government to resume borrowing to pay all its bills and would set an overall $1.37 trillion limit on agency budgets approved by Congress annually.
It also would remove the prospect of a government shutdown in October or the threat of deep automatic spending cuts.
The administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., played strong hands in the talks that sealed the agreement last week, producing a pragmatic measure that had much for lawmakers to dislike.
Trump did step back from a possible fight over spending increases sought by liberals, and achieved his priorities on Pentagon budgets and the stock market-soothing borrowing limit. Pelosi won remarkable Democratic unity in pushing the bill through the House last week despite Democratic divides on issues such as impeachment and health care.
Democrats in the GOP-controlled Senate delivered most of their votes for the deal. Many of the more solidly conservative Republicans said it allowed for unchecked borrowing and too much spending.
The measure was an epitaph to the 2011 Budget Control Act, which came about due to a tea party-fueled battle over debt limit legislation during the run-up to President Barack Obama’s re-election. That law promised more than $2 trillion in deficit cuts through 2021, including automatic spending cuts that were put in place after the failure of a so-called deficit supercommittee.