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Six GOP Senate Hopefuls Vote to Kill Ryan-Murray Budget Deal

Friday, 13 Dec 2013 07:47 AM

By Drew MacKenzie


Six Republican candidates running for the U.S. Senate next year voted against the bipartisan budget agreement in the House Thursday, The Hill reports.

Georgia congressmen Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, and Jack Kingston, who are facing off against one another in the GOP primary to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, all rejected the bill.

Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton and Montana Rep. Steve Daines, who are not facing any real threats in their Senate primaries, also voted to kill the measure.

Texas tea party firebrand Rep. Steve Stockman, who just announced a primary challenge to fellow Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, broke with the party leadership as well.

Tea party-aligned conservatives have strongly opposed the budget agreement, negotiated between Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, due to the lack of spending cuts.

The bill was passed overwhelmingly in the House by a vote of 332 to 94, with 62 Republicans and 32 Democrats breaking with their leaders to vote against it, reports The Washington Post.

Louisiana Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in what is expected to be a close race, was the only Republican running for the Senate in 2014 to support the budget deal.

Daines, viewed as a member of the Republican establishment, said he voted against the measure due to fears about the debt crisis.

"While I'm encouraged by ongoing efforts to develop bipartisan proposals and commend [House Budget Committee] Chairman Ryan and [Senate Budget Committee] Chairman Murray for their work to find agreement, I am concerned that this budget proposal does not provide Montanans with a much-needed solution to our debt crisis," he said in a statement.

"Rather than taking serious and needed steps to address Washington's spending addiction and growing debt, this budget relies largely on spending cuts many years from now to offset immediate spending increases."

Cotton, a tea party candidate running against incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas, criticized the budget deal for exceeding spending limits.

"This budget deal busts the spending caps that took effect just months ago by spending billions now in exchange for supposed long-term spending cuts," he said. "Arkansans are tired of the Washington ‘long term,' which never seems to arrive."

Broun also came down hard on the legislation. saying, "Instead of taking the opportunity to enact meaningful spending reform, this deal spends an additional $63 billion over the next two years in exchange for the empty promise of spending cuts in the future — a budget gimmick which is all but certain to be cancelled before any real cuts come to fruition."

The Ryan-Murray budget deal is expected to pass the Senate next week.

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