GOP-controlled Senate passes massive 2-year spending deal

WASHINGTON ― After years of decrying deficits and debt, the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate on Thursday passed a massive $2.7 trillion budget plan, 67-28, that will suspend the debt ceiling for two years and increase spending to both domestic and military programs.

Thirty Republicans joined nearly every Democrat in supporting the measure.

The deal, which also eases the path toward funding the government past Sept. 30, faced substantial opposition from conservatives in the Senate who objected to the increased federal spending levels. In a speech earlier this week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said the deal “marks the death of the Tea Party movement in America.”

Paul added, “Today is the final nail in the coffin. The Tea Party party is no more,” referring to the self-proclaimed fiscal conservative movement that fiercely opposed spending increases during former President Barack Obama’s administration, even threatening a default on the nation’s public debt.

RELATED: Scenes from Trump's 2018 budget proposal rollout 

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Scenes from the day President Donald Trump's budget proposal was rolled out
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Scenes from the day President Donald Trump's budget proposal was rolled out
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to attendees as he departs his infrastructure initiative meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney speaks during a news briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
New copies of President Donald Trump's Budget for the U.S. Government for the Fiscal Year 2019 lay on a display table at the U.S. Government Publishing Office in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/ Leah Millis
U.S. Government Publishing Office employees BethAnn Telford, Bernie Morrison, Stephen Morbley and Darlene Matthews unpack and arrange new copies of President Donald Trump's Budget for the U.S. Government for the Fiscal Year 2019 on a display table at the U.S. Government Publishing Office in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
Ivanka Trump attends U.S. President Donald Trump's infrastructure meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly attends U.S. President Donald Trump's infrastructure meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump holds a meeting on his infrastructure initiative at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. Government Publishing Office employee Darlene Matthews arranges new copies of President Donald Trump's Budget for the U.S. Government for the Fiscal Year 2019 at the U.S. Government Publishing Office in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
U.S. Government Publishing Office employees BethAnn Telford, left, and Bernie Morrison unpack new copies of President Donald Trump's Budget for the U.S. Government for the Fiscal Year 2019 at the U.S. Government Publishing Office in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
U.S. President Donald Trump holds a meeting on his infrastructure initiative at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Copies of the President Trump's FY 2019 budget proposal are delivered to the U.S. House Budget Committee offices on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Ivanka Trump attends U.S. President Donald Trump's infrastructure meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: Journalists photograph the arrival of printed copies of U.S. President Donald Trump's fiscal year 2019 budget at the House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill February 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. The budget is expected to contain funding requests for the building of a wall on the southern border of the U.S., infrastructure projects, and increased military funding. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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But Republican leadership, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), lobbied hard to get a majority of their members to back the deal after about two-thirds of House Republicans opposed it last week, an embarrassing vote in the lower chamber that split the party despite President Donald Trump’s support.

“This is the agreement the administration has negotiated,” McConnell said on the floor Thursday morning, attempting to wash his hands of it. “This is the deal the House has passed. This is the deal President Trump is waiting and eager to sign into law.”

McConnell argued the budget deal was the best Republicans could do with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) controlling a third of the government. He touted its included $738 billion in military funding in fiscal 2020, and an agreement by both parties to avoid “poison pills” in future spending bills.

But this was not the view of most Republicans when Democrats controlled the White House and Senate in recent years. Then, they railed against Democratic-approved spending and demanded dollar-for-dollar spending cuts to offset any increases in federal funding.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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