OPIOID SERIES:

Rand Paul will vote against budget deal; calls cuts negligible

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Defense: Congress poised for busy week on nominations, defense bill | Trump to deliver Naval Academy commencement speech | Trump administration appeals decision to block suspected combatant's transfer Democrats mull audacious play to block Pompeo Overnight Defense: Trump steps up fight with California over guard deployment | Heitkamp is first Dem to back Pompeo for State | Dems question legality of Syria strikes MORE (R-Ky.), a founding member of the Senate Tea Party Caucus, is urging his colleagues to vote against the spending deal between President Obama and House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerA warning to Ryan’s successor: The Speakership is no cakewalk With Ryan out, let’s blow up the process for selecting the next Speaker Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election MORE (R-Ohio).
 
Paul, who has proposed cutting up to $500 billion from discretionary spending over the rest of 2011, said the cuts agreed to Friday night are negligible.
 

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“The much-ballyhooed 2011 continuing resolution will leave the federal government spending $1.6 trillion more than it takes in,” Paul wrote in a letter to Senate and House colleagues. “Despite descriptions of cuts, the 2011 Congress will spend more than it did in 2010 and with a larger annual deficit. It is the third year in a row with a record deficit.
 
“Only in Washington can a budget that spends more than it did the year before, with a larger deficit, be portrayed as 'cutting,' ” he wrote.
 
Paul argued that the amount negotiators agreed to cut is only $6 billion more than what House GOP leaders proposed earlier this year, before backpedaling after freshman conservatives complained the goal was too modest.
 
“I didn’t come to Washington to settle for $6 billion less in spending than if I had not been here,” Paul wrote. “I suspect most of my freshmen House friends didn’t either. That’s barely half a day’s spending at our current pace.”
 
Paul said he would vote a “resounding no” but did not say whether he will filibuster the deal.
 
The House is expected to vote on the package on Wednesday, though it could get pushed to Thursday. The Senate is scheduled to take up the legislation immediately after House action.