The bipartisan two-year budget deal passed the House of Representatives on Thursday, but despite emphatic endorsements from President Donald Trump, most Republican representatives voted against it.
Republican opposition, however, had no material impact on whether the bill passed or not. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was able to get enough Democrats on board to pass the bill even if all Republicans had opposed. The bill passed 284-149, with 219 Democratic votes.
Out of 197 total Republican votes, 132 voted against the bill, which pushes spending even further into deficit territory over the next few years and suspends the debt ceiling.
BREAKING: Budget deal PASSES House by a vote of 284-149 Despite POTUS’ support and House leadership’s backing, the… https://t.co/gttSSWEB6a— Nate Madden (@Nate Madden) 1564089277.0
The deal was primarily negotiated between Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who was given full authority from the president in the matter.
In passing the deal, political concerns outweighed fiscal responsibility, as numerous lawmakers cited upcoming elections as a reason to put debt worries aside and avoid potential financial conflicts or shutdowns in Congress over the next few years.
"It helps everybody, including the majority—not having to deal with that at election time, Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) told Politico.
Those remaining lawmakers who do still care about advocating for fiscal responsibility within the government were not pleased with the result of five months of bipartisan negotiations.
"There's not much conservative about it," Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said of the agreement. "There's stories being written that this is the final nail in the coffin of what used to be the tea party movement. That's sad. But maybe true."
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), knowing that the bill was inevitably going to pass, made an effort to at least name the bill in a way he felt was more representative of what was happening.
Massie forced a vote to rename the bill "A Bill to Kick the Can Down the Road, and for Other Purposes." He got 47 votes on the failed amendment—41 Republicans, five Democrats, and Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.)
Imagine if bills were named based on what they actually did. Today, I forced a vote to rename the budget bill tha… https://t.co/aaHQiPTGOL— Thomas Massie (@Thomas Massie) 1564094654.0
The bill will push spending above existing law by about $320 billion over the next two years, which is troubling because the government is already on track to operate at about a $1 trillion deficit.