Sen. Marco Rubio went to the airwaves once again Friday to ding the bipartisan budget deal that passed the GOP-controlled House, saying that the compromise does not take the country in the right direction.
The Florida Republican, who has come under fire from Rep. Paul Ryan, one of the bill’s chief architects, said the bill allowed government spending to continue at unsustainable levels — increasing it by $63 billion over the next two years in exchange for the vague promise of paying for it with cuts over the next decade.
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“We have a government that is going to spend about $600 billion more than it takes in and then this budget comes in and actually adds more money to that equation — to the amount of money we need to borrow to function,” Mr. Rubio said on CBS “This Morning.” “So, I am not sure that is a step in the right direction.”
The House on Thursday easily passed the budget agreement on a 332-94 vote, sending it to the Senate, where it faces GOP opposition, including from Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama, who has said he plans to filibuster the proposal - a move that would force Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, to come up with 60 votes to end the debate on the bill and bring it up for a final vote.
Mr. Rubio, who came under fire from the right flank of his party for supporting an earned path to citizenship as part of an immigration deal, has been a vocal opponent of the budget proposal, which Mr. Ryan carved out in closed meetings with Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat.
Mr. Ryan has countered the complaints by saying that Mr. Rubio should, “Read the deal and get back to me.”
“People are going to do what they need to do,” Mr. Ryan said, adding that it is easy for lawmakers like Mr. Rubio to shoot spitballs at the proposal because they are not in the majority in the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats. “Look in the minority, you don’t have the burden of governing.”
A major beef that Mr. Rubio and conservative groups have is that the House GOP has given up their biggest point of leverage in the spending debate by restoring more than $60 billion in the “sequester” cuts to defense and non-defense programs.
Others, though, have pointed out that Mr. Rubio also argued against the sequester cuts to the Pentagon.
The budget deal that passed the House Thursday would restore $22.5 billion in defense spending in 2014 and $9 billion in 2015. The same amount would be restored to non-defense discretionary spending.