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Why did Republican leaders sign on to a spending deal this bloated this early?

Congress has two whole months left until the government shutdown deadline, so why in the world did Republicans agree to a budget deal that sets us up to grow the national debt by another $2 trillion over two years?

As explained in Friday morning's Capitol Hill Brief email:

The lower chamber passed the budget agreement — which suspends the debt ceiling and busts the spending caps — yesterday evening 284-149. However, despite the president’s support and House leadership’s backing, twice as many Republicans voted against the bill as for it. After final passage, Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., invoked a House rule to force a vote to change the title of the bill to "A Bill to Kick the Can Down the Road, and for Other Purposes." The amendment failed but got 47 votes total.

The House then left for a six-week recess, with votes not expected again until September 9. Now the budget bill heads to the Senate, which faces more pressure to pass it as-is, since any changes would require recalling the House or waiting until representatives get back to town.

So to those of you thinking that it seems a little early to be having a fight about the budget, you're not far off. It's important to keep in mind this isn't an appropriations bill, which is expected in September; this is just the agreement to remove Congress' spending constraints. Congress still has to pass 12 appropriations bills before October, which leaves two whole months on the possible shutdown clock.

So what exactly was the impetus for Republicans to sign on to this spending deal this early? The fact that the federal government is spending so much taxpayer money that it ran the risk of running into mandatory cuts under the Budget Control Act. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin warned that we might have hit the debt ceiling by early September, in fact.

So instead of finding a way to agree on what part of the bloated federal government to cut back on, negotiators went behind closed doors and cooked up a deal to get rid of the constraints and spend a lot more taxpayer money.

Yes, in true Washington, D.C. fashion, both parties saw a spending problem and came together to "solve" it with more spending. The House passed it, and then they adjourned for six weeks.

And now it's all set to become law and, as Daniel Horowitz writes, completely repeal the Tea Party movement's fiscal legacy.

Indeed, as it heads to the Senate, it appears that the only things likely to stop it are some kind of last-ditch effort in the upper chamber or President Trump listening to the pushback from the Right on this and sending the negotiators back to the drawing board. After all, there's still time to do it.

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