Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Budget Panel Announces Deal

By Drew Thies

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) announced a two-year budget agreement Tuesday night that averts another government shutdown in January and replaces sequester spending cuts.
The bipartisan package, developed as a result of the bipartisan, bicameral budget panel created in the wake of the government shutdown in October, includes $63 billion of sequester relief offset by $85 billion in savings.

In their announcement, Rep. Ryan and Sen. Murray acknowledged that core principles of both parties were not on the table, resulting in an agreement which did not overhaul the tax code or entitlement programs.
The agreement has the support of the White House. In a statement released shortly after the announcement, President Obama said, “it’s a good sign that Democrats and Republicans in Congress were able to come together and break the cycle of short-sighted, crisis-driven decision-making.”

Party leaders on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers also offered their support. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) backed the deal. Ryan and Murray expect the budget to pass both the House and Senate.
Many supporters of the plan want to hasten its passage and hope to hold votes in both chambers by the end of the week, at which point both Chambers adjourn for the holidays. Backers fear that if the legislation does not become law before 2014, it will give a chance for opponents to push potential supporters away from the bill.

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