The U.S. Senate today, with a bipartisan 74-26 vote, passed the $2 trillion-plus debt extension and sent it to the White House, where President Obama signed it, with a promise to cut about $1 trillion in future spending and set up a process to cut more than $1 trillion more. Out in the White House Rose Garden, where the president signed the bill, he cautioned that the legislation was “just a first step” toward further deficit reduction.
Adhering to his poll-tested memes of “balance” and “sticking it to the rich,” President Obama added, “Since you can’t close the deficit with just spending cuts, we’ll need a balanced approach where everything is on the table,” insisting that “the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations (should be made to) pay their fair share.”
But Kentucky’s senior senator—flushed with victory—described the just concluded battle a little differently. “Never again will any president from either party be allowed to raise the debt ceiling without being held accountable for it by the American people,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.).
Kentucky’s junior senator, on the other hand, voted against the compromise bill. Following today’s Senate passage of the debt ceiling bill, Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) offered the following statement:
“I voted in opposition to this bill because it doesn’t do enough to provide a stable solution to our nation’s debt crisis. It never balances, and it will add at least $7 trillion in NEW debt on top of our current 14 trillion. This is not sustainable.
“The President called for a “balanced approach.” But the American people are calling for a balanced budget. This deal does nothing to fix the overreaches of both parties over the past few years: Obamacare, TARP, trillion-dollar wars, runaway entitlement spending. They are all cemented into place with this deal, and their legacy will be trillions of dollars in new debt.
“Americans deserve more from their government than a weak compromise that doesn’t actually cut spending and they deserve better leadership from their President. I will continue to fight every day for fiscal sanity and a solution to our debt crisis”
Sen. Rand Paul talks with CNN’s Anderson Cooper about the debt plan