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US Congress Approves Bipartisan Budget Act, Relegating More For Defense Than Everything Else Combined

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US Congress Approves Bipartisan Budget Act, Relegating More For Defense Than Everything Else Combined

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On July 25th, the US House of Representatives passed the “Bipartisan Budget Act.”

The act is a sort of agreement between US President Donald Trump and congressional leaders, and it suspends debt limit for 2 years, while lifting the spending caps by $320 billion.

65 Republicans, about one-third of the House Republican conference, voted in favor of the measure.

“Our fundamental principle is to make sure we have fiscal house in order. We understand we live in a House that has to find compromise,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said. “This is not the bill that we would write. We are not in the majority.”

The US national debt now totals more than $22.5 trillion.

“We are closing in on $23 trillion in debt, and the latest bipartisan budget ‘deal’ would continue to push us further down the dangerous and unsustainable path we’re on,” Rep. Jeff Duncan, noted in a statement after the vote. “We can’t keep making excuses while we pass this debt on to our children, recklessly throwing fiscal sanity out the window in the process.”

Democrats had enough votes, 219, to pass the bill on their own.

“By passing the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019, we have ended the threat of harsh austerity cuts and set the stage for strategic investments in our nation’s future,” Rep. John Yarmuth, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, wrote in a statement. “Once approved by the Senate and signed into law by the President, this truly bipartisan legislation will provide much-needed certainty for our communities and our economy.”

Notably, the budget approved $1.48 trillion in military spending for 2020 and 2021.

“At $738 billion for Fiscal Year 2020 and $740 billion for Fiscal Year 2021,” wrote William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy , “the agreement sets the table for two of the highest budgets for the Pentagon and related work on nuclear warheads at the Department of Energy since World War II.”

“The proposed figures are higher than spending at the height of the Vietnam and Korean Wars, and substantially more than the high point of the Reagan buildup of the 1980s,” Hartung added. “And the Fiscal Year 2020 and Fiscal Year 2021 numbers are only slightly less than spending in 2010, when the United States had 180,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, roughly nine times the number currently deployed.”

US Congress Approves Bipartisan Budget Act, Relegating More For Defense Than Everything Else Combined

Click to see the full-size image

The Pentagon, with its $1.48 trillion over two years actually receives more money than the every other branch of government, the budget for it is $1.30 trillion.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated on that with Trump’s approval on the budget deal, $4.1 trillion would have been added to the national debt under his term.

How the budget will be shared between the non-defense departments remains unclear, but the following is the general plan the Republicans proposed in March 2019.

US Congress Approves Bipartisan Budget Act, Relegating More For Defense Than Everything Else Combined

Click to see full-size image

The “important” sector, defense, gets an increase and receives more than all non-defense sectors combined in both years. Notably, NASA is to possibly get an increase, especially since its help would quite likely be needed for the US Space Force.

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