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The House Just Passed a Budget Deal That Will Add $1.7 Trillion to the National Debt

• https://reason.com

Sometimes Congress goes beyond parody.

"Make no mistake," House Majority Leader Steney Hoyer (D–Md.) said Thursday afternoon during a debate over a new budget deal on the House floor, "we're going to have to make some tough decisions in the years ahead to make sure our fiscal house is in order."

But why worry about that today, right? Hoyer's comments pretty effectively sum-up the thinking that governs Congress these days. Lawmakers are well aware of the looming threat posed by the $22 trillion (and growing) national debt, but today they voted to make that problem worse.

Indeed, the difficult decisions that will face future member of Congress only got more difficult on Thursday, as the House voted 284-149 to pass a two-year, $2.7 trillion budget deal that hikes federal spending by about $320 billion annually and is estimated to add about $1.7 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years. The U.S. was already poised to run trillion-dollar deficits for the foreseeable future, and the new budget deal will make it more difficult to curb those annual deficits in the years ahead.

The budget deal shatters budget caps and actually hikes spending above the baseline that was in place before the 2011 bill that imposed the so-called "sequestration."

Source: Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

All but 16 House Democrats supported the budget plan, which was hammered out over the past week between Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

President Donald Trump, despite promising last year that he would "never sign another bill" that blew up the deficit as the 2018 bipartisan budget deal did, has been nothing but supportive of the new agreement. He met with Republican lawmakers—many of whom were reportedly wavering in their support for more spending—for a lunch on Thursday where he urged affirmative votes.

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