It’s good to see the adults back in charge in Washington. Whether Democrat or Republican, most people had to be heartened by Speaker Paul Ryan’s comments after the House passed a $1.1-trillion spending package on Friday (Dec. 18).
The spending bill and a $622-billion tax measure that passed the House a day earlier were approved by the Senate and sent to the president, who signed them that day. The votes helped avoid yet another shutdown of the government.
Many members, including Ryan, and farm organization leaders voiced their displeasure with how the budget process unfolded over the months. Some ag groups published score cards, tallying up the wins and losses for their members in the bill that ran 2,000 pages.
“We are where we are, and we have a bipartisan compromise where, by the way, I think we’ve got some good wins,” Ryan said during a press conference. “And, look, Democrats got some good wins, too. That’s the nature of bipartisan compromises.”
Ryan, who became speaker after John Boehner was forced out of office over budget issues, said the House “made the best of a situation we have. There are some really good wins in here for the American people. There are good wins here for the economy, for job creators, for taxpayers, some important developments that will help us build a competent America.”
But he pledged to do things differently in 2016, to move the House back to “regular order” so each spending bill would be considered separately instead of being rolled into one omnibus spending measure.
President Obama also praised the work of congressional leaders, who resisted demands for another government shutdown similar to what happened in 2013 when Republicans tried to remove funding for the Affordable Care Act.
“I very much appreciate the work the Democratic and Republican leaders did to get this to my desk,” said President Obama. “I think it is a signal of how Washington should work. My hope is now that they build on this agreement with spending bills that also invest in America’s priorities without getting sidetracked by a bunch of ideological issues that have nothing to do with our budget.”