While many applaud this bipartisan bill, there is also bipartisan opposition to the law.
By Sean David Hartman
In a unique turn of events, the United States Congress passed a two-year federal budget for the first time in decades. While many applaud this bipartisan bill, there is also bipartisan opposition to the law.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) led a conservative opposition to the bill, which would increase the national debt by $1 trillion. Paul criticized Republicans who usually talk about curbing deficit spending for supporting a bill that would increase the debt, referring to them as “intellectually dishonest.”
However, many conservatives who voted for the major debt bill cited the need to fund the military as a key factor for their vote. One of the Republicans who voted for it, Ponte Verde Beach Congressman Ron DeSantis, has been an active supporter of the military, but simultaneously one who has openly condemned deficit spending.
Congressman DeSantis, who is running for Governor, was criticized by at least one of his Republican opponents for lying to his constituents and voting against his principles.
Democrats too opposed the bill, claiming it did not include any reforms for the Dreamers, one of their key litmus issues in the budget deals. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stood eight-hours to defend the Dreamers, and though she did not whip her caucus to vote with her, she stated she would vote no on those grounds.
Incumbent Winter Park Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy voted YES on the controversial bill. Congresswoman Murphy a most contentious election this cycle, with three Republicans and one progressive Democrat seeking to unseat her.
We asked these candidates what they felt about the bill.
CHARDO RICHARDSON (D)
Democrat Chardo Richardson was the first candidate who spoke to the Central Florida Post on his position. A progressive Democrat, Richardson is running to the left of Congresswoman Murphy, who has a more centrist political philosophy.
Richardson cited a position similar to House Minority Leader Pelosi, showing concern that the bill had no deal for Dreamers, as well as a concern for a bloated military budget, which he felt was unnecessary.
“The good parts of this bill, CHIP, student loans, and disaster relief are worthy of this passing,” Richardson told The Central Florida Post. “However, I would have voted No and here’s why. The Dreamers of Central Florida and this nation deserve protection and there is no need to expand military spending. I stand with Dreamers and the people of this country who want a government that serves the people and not corporate donors.
REP. MIKE MILLER (R)
Orlando State Representative Mike Miller, who is a more moderate candidate, came out in favor of the bill, citing the increased military spending, border security, and disaster relief, while calling for more spending reductions.
“I join President Trump in supporting the Bipartisan Budget Act,” Representative Miller told Central Florida Post. “[The bill] increases funding for our military and defense, protects our borders, and provides much needed disaster relief funds for Central Florida.
Representative Miller also claimed that the bill included some spending reductions, despite it increasing the national debt by $1 trillion.
“While this bill includes some spending reductions and provides more long term financial stability for the country, I support the President in asking Congress to enact additional spending reductions that will improve our overall fiscal state.”
SCOTT STURGILL (R)
Former Soil & Water Supervisor Scott Sturgill, who some argue is running a more conservative campaign, seemed to take a position more closely associated with Senator Paul and the House Freedom Caucus. Praising the military spending increases, he criticized the overall budget for increasing the deficit.
“I’m happy to see this budget will give our military the full funding that our soldiers and national defense needs,” Supervisor Sturgill told the Central Florida Post. “Unfortunately, this budget increase for our military was not compensated with cuts in wasteful spending.”
“This debt will increase the deficit to over $20 trillion. I think it’s time we pass a common sense budget that will reduce the debt and start paying down our country’s deficit.”
To be clear, Sturgill did not expressly state he supports or oppose the bill, though it seems he would have been more inclined to oppose.
VENNIA FRANCOIS (R)
Vennia Francois, the most recent Republican candidate, expressed concern about Congresswoman Murphy’s partisanship.
“Things would never have come to this point in the first place had politicians like Stephanie Murphy not voted lockstep with Nancy Pelosi to shut down the government in January,” Francois told the Central Florida Post. “American military readiness is put in jeopardy during a shutdown, and is hamstrung by short-term funding deals and dangerous budget caps.
“Despite Congressional inaction, our men and women in uniform get up every day and do their jobs, often under very dangerous conditions. It’s about time Congress fought for them so they have the tools they need to keep us, and others around the globe, safe.”
Francois, like Sturgill, did not expressly show support or opposition to the bill, nor did she mention the problems with deficit spending that the other two Republican candidates mentioned. She did however praise the hurricane recovery spending, and seems to signal her support for the bill.
“Because the budget bill also included disaster relief funding, the people of Florida will have what they need to continue recovery efforts and help the people of Puerto Rico who relocated to Florida after the recent hurricanes that affected the island.”
Sean David Hartman is a freelance reporter for the Central Florida Post, with a wide portfolio ranging from entertainment to politics. He is a centrist political operative and blogger and a student at UCF. Hartman is autistic and bipolar, and supports the neurodiversity movement.