WASHINGTON — The Senate early Friday passed a Republican budget plan that would cut spending by $5.1 trillion over 10 years, raise military funding and repeal Obamacare.
The non-binding budget, debated all week and passed 52-46 during a 15-hour marathon session before the Easter recess, gives Republicans another crack at repealing the Affordable Care Act, probably through a process known as reconciliation, and increases defense spending while slashing funds in other areas, including education and health care. The House passed a similar spending plan Wednesday.
An aide to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) said they were cautiously optimistic the budget would pass in the final hours leading up to the 3:30 a.m. vote. Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) broke party lines and voted against it. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) voted for it.
“I believe the work we’ve done this week to boost our nation’s economy, support our national defense and expand opportunity for hardworking families is truly work worth doing,” Enzi said on the floor immediately following the vote. He noted that it’s the first budget plan passed by a GOP-controlled Senate since 2006.
The budget provides extra money for the military through the Overseas Contingency Operations fund, adding $38 billion to $58 billion already allotted. The defense money isn’t subject to automatic sequestration budget caps and, in effect, would bring the Pentagon’s budget to $612 billion.