The problem with Congress isn’t that lawmakers are too partisan, but that they get along too well, at least when it comes to eagerness to spend taxpayers’ money, Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday.
“There’s too much compromise in Washington. There’s always an agreement to spend more money,” Mr. Paul said.
Mr. Paul is trying to sink a budget deal inked by President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that will send discretional spending soaring over the next two years, and allow the government to borrow as much as it needs to keep operations going for two more years.
The deal cleared the House last week and both Democratic and Republican leaders have said they will pass it through the Senate this week, before they head off for a lengthy summer vacation. But first they’ll have to surmount Mr. Paul and a few other conservatives.
“Today’s vote will be a vote for a monstrosity, an abomination,” the Kentucky Republican said.
He attacked both Democrats and Republicans — and even appeared to chide President Trump, who has urged support.
“You can’t drain the swamp unless you are willing to cut the size and scope of government,” Mr. Paul said.
Mr. Trump has defended the deal as good for the military, saying he accepted Democrats’ wishes for higher domestic spending in order to get more money for the Pentagon.
Mr. Paul said that’s getting things backwards.
“Maybe the mission is too big. It isn’t that the budget’s too small,” the senator said.
Mr. Trump, in an interview this week with C-SPAN, said if he wins re-election next year he’ll attempt budget cuts in a second term.
So far in his first term he’s adding new debt at a pace of about $1 trillion a year.
Under existing law, both domestic and defense spending is due to face deep cuts this year. The new deal Mr. Trump struck with Mrs. Pelosi boosts defense spending over those limits by $90 billion in 2020 and $81 billion the next year. Domestic discretionary spending, meanwhile, will be $78 billion more in 2020 and $71 billion in 2021.
• Stephen Dinan can be reached at email@example.com.
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