McCain: Budget Deal Not Perfect but Beats Shutdown

Image: McCain: Budget Deal Not Perfect but Beats Shutdown

Wednesday, 15 Jan 2014 06:16 PM

By Greg Richter

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The $1 trillion budget deal passed by the House on Wednesday has pork and unnecessary projects but is the best anyone can expect without Republican control, says Sen. John McCain.

"Look, it's better than shutting down the government," McCain, R-Ariz., said Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto."

Still, he admitted Wednesday, "There's some smoke and mirrors in this one."

Despite tea party concerns that Republicans are giving up the fight, McCain argued that more meaningful spending cuts can be passed next year when he expects the GOP will have taken control of the Senate after November's midterms.

Shutting down the government just harms innocent citizens, McCain said, "particularly when there is no way we were going to succeed in defunding Obamacare."

The senator was referring to last October's budget standoff, led by tea party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Cruz led an effort to defund Obamacare, but ended up spurring a partial government shutdown that lasted half the month. The public blamed Republicans.

But when the shutdown ended, focus shifted to the failed Obamacare website rollout, and Republicans, who had opposed the law's passage in the first place, rebounded in the polls.

Cruz and other tea party members have been noticeably silent as the latest budget deal has been negotiated.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, also appearing on Cavuto's show, said it is good that spending is being cut and the government isn't being shut down, but he added that the bill uses some "gimmicks" with mandatory programs.

Mandatory spending accounts for two-thirds of the budget, he noted, and is the fastest-growing part of the budget.

Healthcare entitlements are the biggest part of that and are expected to grow by 100 percent in the next 10 years, he said.

"If you don't get at this issue of reforming these vital, important, but unsustainable entitlement programs, you can't get the spending under control," Portman said.

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