An amazing thing happened in Washington recently. With the total national debt about to top $20 trillion and on an unsustainable long-term path, 376 members of the House of Representatives voted for one of two Fiscal Year 2017 budget resolutions that would add another $9.1 trillion to the debt over next 10 years.
One version was passed by the House with 227 Republican votes. Nine Republicans voted in opposition. The other version was a Democratic amendment that was defeated with 37 Democrats voting in opposition.
That means only 46 members of the House (9 Republicans and 37 Democrats) voted against adding $9.1 trillion to the debt.
Both budget resolutions contained roughly the same recommended levels of spending, revenues and debt. The main difference was that the Republican version contained a fast-track procedure (“reconciliation”) to begin the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”).
Earlier in the week, the Senate also approved a version of the budget resolution that would add $9.1 trillion to the debt with only one Republican, Rand Paul of Kentucky, voting in opposition.
It is not easy to vote against a budget resolution or amendment put forward by the party leadership, no matter how fiscally responsible that vote may be.
The members who did so put their concerns about our nation’s fiscal future ahead of party loyalty. They deserve a note of thanks and encouragement. As the budget process plays out this year we hope that others will follow their good example.
The nine Republicans who opposed the budget:
The 37 Democrats who opposed the budget alternative: