Republicans Pass Senate Budget Plan That Cuts Spending and Dismantles Obamacare
Following a marathon of amendment votes, the Senate approved a Republican budget resolution just after 3:30 a.m. Friday morning.
The GOP-controlled Senate narrowly passed the budget plan in a 52-46 vote, marking the first Republican budget in nearly a decade.
In addition to all Senate Democrats, Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky were the only two Republican senators who voted against the measure during the grueling "vote-a-rama," reports CNN.
The budget resolution bill, which is a non-binding blueprint that lays out Congress' spending and policy objectives for the 2016 fiscal year, aims to cut spending without raising taxes and dismantle President Obama's signature health care law, reports The Hill.
The budget also includes an amendment instructing Congress to prohibit eligible undocumented immigrants under Obama's immigration executive actions from claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Care credit, according to the immigration-reduction group NumbersUSA.
Earlier this week, the House passed a budget bill that also seeks to shrink projected federal deficits by $5.1 trillion in the next 10 years by mostly cutting health care and other government benefit programs.
Moving forward, both branches of the Congress will have to negotiate a compromise budget in mid-April following spring recess.
After the Senate vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., released a statement touting the passage of the bill as a victory for Republicans.
"By passing a balanced budget that emphasizes growth, common sense and the needs of the middle class, Republicans have shown that the Senate is under new management and delivering on the change and responsible government the American people expect," said McConnell. "The Democrat-led Senate for years refused not only to pass a balanced budget, but any budget at all. Those days are over, and the proof is passage of a balanced plan with ideas that Congress' nonpartisan analysts tell us would boost jobs, raise income and drive economic growth."
Democrats, on the other hand, said the budget relied on political gimmicks while pushing policies that hurt the middle class.
"The budget we passed today is irresponsible and fails to effectively invest in our future," said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.
Likewise, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., slammed Republicans for pushing a budget that showers "millionaires and big corporations with tax cuts."
"A budget represents a reflection of our values, and this year Republicans did not restrain from touting what they value most: placing special interests above the middle class," said Menendez in a statement. "I could not, in good conscience, vote in favor of a budget proposal that guts vital programs for seniors, slashes education funding for low-income students, strips health insurance from millions, and fails to invest in New Jersey."