Senate Rejects Far-Right Plan Threatening Everyday Americans’ Benefits

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A large majority in the Senate has rejected a proposed amendment from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that would have cut wide-ranging government spending by 15 percent as part of a short-term extension of that allocated funding that was recently approved by both the House and Senate. Defense spending was excluded from the plan by Paul, but it doesn’t appear essentially anything completely outside that area went unscathed, potentially threatening benefit and support programs on which everyday Americans rely.

And 32 members of the Senate voted for it. (A 65-vote majority expressed opposition.) Supporters of Paul’s amendment included usual suspects like GOP Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Ron Johnson (Wisc.), and Josh Hawley (Mo.).

On the Senate floor, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who was speaking in opposition, laid out some of the stakes as she saw them.

“And then there is this amendment, which–let’s all be honest–is just not serious but would be absolutely devastating,” she told colleagues. “This amendment would slash huge swaths of discretionary spending by a whopping and totally arbitrary 15 percent, not to mention the cut to the IRS of $30 billion. We are talking across the board cuts with no rhyme or reason that would devastate our families, our economy, our competitive edge, and our national security. That is not a solution. It is not serious. It is a gift to our adversaries, who want us to fall behind. And it is a slap in the face to families across the country who are counting on the critical investments Congress makes in their communities.”

Most Republicans in the House semi-recently voted for an ultimately failed spending plan that went even further, cutting spending in many areas of government by roughly 30 percent, again without clearly evident rhyme or reason as the saying goes. In the House, Democrats have repeatedly provided the necessary votes to clinch a majority to move critical legislation forward, despite not holding the overall majority. The trend goes back to Democrats saving the plan to raise the nation’s debt limit, ensuring stability.