publication date: Oct. 30, 2015

Budget Deal Eases Sequestration, Includes Medicare Site Neutrality 


Congress passed a two-year budget deal that would raise government spending as well as the debt ceiling.

The bill includes an $80 billion total budget increase, divided evenly between non-military and military programs, and raises the previous caps set by sequestration. The bill also suspends the debt limit until March 2017.

To pay for the increases, the government would raise money from changes to Social Security disability insurance and Medicare—as well as by auctioning off sections of public broadcast spectrum and selling barrels of oil from the government’s petroleum reserve, both occurring over the next 10 years.

The House of Representatives passed the bill with a vote of 266 to 167 Wednesday, with 79 Republican representatives breaking with the majority of their conference to join 187 Democrats in moving the measure to the Senate.

The Senate then passed the bill at the end of a marathon session late Thursday evening, with the final 64 to 35 vote coming after 3 a.m. Friday, following speeches against the bill from presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

Paul—as well as two fellow senators running for president, Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)—ultimately voted against the bill, as did 32 other Republicans. Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) was the only Republican presidential candidate to vote in favor of the bill.

The president is expected to sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk.

Continue reading 41-40 Budget Deal Eases Sequestration, Includes Medicare Site Neutrality

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