By Joe Rutherford
The U.S. House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan compromise budget deal, with 1st District Rep. Alan Nunnelee voting for it.
Earlier in the day, Sen. Roger Wicker announced he will oppose the agreement when it reaches the Senate next week, and Sen. Thad Cochran expressed reservations about the legislation.
Nunnelee, a Tupelo Republican, said he views the bill as a “small step” in the right direction.
“For the first time in years, we are reducing the deficit by addressing mandatory spending, the real driver of our debt crisis, and doing so without raising taxes,” Nunnelee said in a statement released by his Washington office.
“Setting a budget for the next two years will help alleviate some of this uncertainty and allow Congress to focus on jobs, economic growth, and the fight against Obamacare.”
The agreement, negotiated chiefly by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., that passed 332-94 in the House, reduces the deficit by $23 billion and averts another round of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts. Wicker, also a Tupelo Republican and a member of the Senate Budget Committee, said he will not support the proposal. He said he opposes reductions in cost-of-living adjustments to military retirees under age 62 included in the bill.
“I do not support paying for increased federal spending on the backs of our retired and active duty troops,” Wicker said. “Congress should not change the rules in the middle of the game for those who have chosen to serve our nation in the military. … The plan should be rejected.”
Cochran, the senior Republican from Mississippi, said early Thursday evening, “I still have concerns about this bill.”
Cochran is a member of the Appropriations Committee and is ranking member of the Agriculture Committee.