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Tipton votes against budget act

House passes two-year agreement to raise debt ceiling

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a two-year bipartisan budget deal to extend the country’s borrowing authority until March 2017, less than a week before the Nov. 3 default deadline announced by the Treasury Department.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which was negotiated between congressional leaders from both parties and the White House, passed the House with a final vote of 266 to 167. Seventy-nine Republicans joined every House Democrat in supporting the deal.

Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, who was one of the Republicans to vote against the measure, called it “a bad deal that I cannot support.”

“Washington’s spending addiction has created an over $18 trillion national debt,” Tipton said in a statement soon after his vote. “This course is unsustainable, and the day is fast approaching when our nation is going to have to pay the piper.”

The current budget deal extends the federal government’s borrowing authority until after President Barack Obama leaves office. The plan also increases spending caps by $80 billion in 2016 and 2017 and also includes the first long-term entitlement reforms to Social Security in more than 30 years.

The budget deal will now move to the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has announced that he will take up the agreement before the Nov. 3 deadline. McConnell has already filed a motion to limit debate on the agreement once it reaches the Senate, where it is expected to pass despite a pledge from Republican presidential candidate and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul to filibuster the deal.

While the two-year agreement removes the risk of an impending default and makes the likelihood of a government shutdown less likely, Congress still needs to pass an omnibus spending bill by Dec. 11 to fill in the remaining financial details.

Tipton said the deal fails to address many of the underlying budgetary issues that still plague the country.

“While the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 may have some good aspects, overall it’s more of the same Washington status-quo dysfunction that Americans are tired of,” Tipton said.

Edward Graham, a student at American University in Washington, D.C., is an intern with The Durango Herald.

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