Does Congress’s budget deal mark the end of the Tea Party?


That’s what Rand Paul  said on Wednesday:


Sen. Rand Paul, who was first elected in 2010 as a one of the original tea party candidates, declared the movement dead on Wednesday, citing a massive budget deal poised for passage Thursday.


“Both parties have deserted, have absolutely and utterly deserted America and show no care and no understanding and no sympathy for the burden of debt they are leaving the taxpayers, the young, the next generation, and the future of our country,” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor. “The very underpinnings of our country are being eroded and threatened by this debt.”


The debt will now grow much larger under the bipartisan deal, which green-lights unfettered federal borrowing until July 31, 2021. The accord also busts federal spending caps, lifting them by 320 billion over the next two fiscal years. Finally, negotiators left out an extension of the 2011 Budget Control Act, which imposed the caps. It expires in two years.


Paul, who will vote against the deal, said it “marks the death of the tea party in America.”


Paul was elected in the 2010 tea party wave that promoted fiscal discipline. Congress mostly raised spending since Paul arrived, despite his efforts to try to force the chamber to employ fiscal discipline.


The national deficit is approaching $1 trillion, while the debt climbed to more than $22 trillion this year.


Paul wants to amend the legislation with extended budget caps, spending cuts, and a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.


Paul is among a group of Senate conservatives who are poised to vote against the caps deal, which has already won House approval. They’ll vote “no” despite President Trump urging them to support it.


The measure bolsters defense spending, but it also raises domestic spending, adding up to the big increase in the caps.[….]



Brian Riedl of The Manhattan Institute, writing in National Review, comes to a similar conclusion.



Of course, the deal passed both houses of Congress and got signed by Trump:


[…] President Trump signed budget legislation which suspends the debt ceiling for two years Friday afternoon. The Senate passed the deal, cut between the White House and Democratic congressional leaders, on Thursday. The budget will raise spending by $324 billion and would also suspend the debt ceiling until July 2021, eliminating the prospect of an ugly battle before the 2020 election.

The bill passed the Senate on a bipartisan basis with 67 yeas to 28 nays.


Last week, the House passed the two-year spending and debt limit deal 284 to 149, with 219 Democrats voting in favor and 16 voting against. Sixty-five Republicans supported the measure. However, some fiscal hawks in the Republican Party opposed the bill.[…]


Seven of North Carolina’s Eight Republicans in the House voted NO (Patrick McHenry, of course, stuck with leadership and said YES).  This is an example of what gets counted as “voting with Trump.”


McHenry “voted with Trump” — according to ThomT’s favorite website .


Over in the Senate, Tillis voted NO.  (Only because the vote wasn’t close and McConnell didn’t need his vote.  And Thommy-Boy has a challenge from the right coming up in March.)  It’s a shame that it takes the threat of unemployment to get him to act right.