Casey and Toomey Split on Budget Deal

Senators Casey and Toomey (left to right)
Senators Casey and Toomey (left to right)

Pending the President’s signature, the United States will have a budget for the next two years.

On Wednesday, the Senate passed the Murray-Ryan budget agreement with something close to bipartisan support. Nine Republicans joined the entirety of the Democratic Caucus in confirming the deal, for a final vote tally of 64-36.

The House overwhelming voted for the budget plan last week with a vote of 332-94. All 18 Pa. House members voted in support.

Along with a much needed show of compromise, this deal guides the government through the next two fiscal years by shedding the threat of shutdown and continued sequestration. It is also expected to trim the deficit by more than $20 billion in the long term.

Despite the achievements of this legislation, both parties believe there are imperfections, albeit for different reasons.

For Senator Pat Toomey the inadequacies of the bill were too important to overlook when he was voting.

“I have maintained that any budget deal alternative to current law must preserve the taxpayer savings of existing law,” Toomey said. “The budget agreement does not accomplish this basic goal.”

“Regardless of one’s position on this budget agreement,” continued Toomey, “it is clear that Washington is still ignoring the unsustainable spending trajectory that remains a drag on our economy and future generations. I hope that Congress will get to work to put our fiscal house in order.”

On the other side of the aisle, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), who voted for the bill, spoke of the stability that this deal offers Pennsylvania and the nation at large.

“Programs that help create jobs in Pennsylvania such as Community Development Block Grants and NIH medical research will likely face fewer cuts under this deal,” Casey said. “Moreover, the bill will allow us avoid another damaging government shutdown.”

Casey resigned to the idea that shortcomings are in the nature of compromise.

“The bill is not perfect and neither side is happy with everything in the agreement,” said Casey. “However, in a year filled with far too much partisan fighting, this compromise is an important step forward.”

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