Bipartisan Negotiators Unveil Budget To Avoid January Shutdown
By Scott Neuman
Congressional negotiators announced Tuesday they'd reached a budget proposal to restore about $65 billion worth of sequestration cuts in exchange for cuts elsewhere and additional fees.
If approved by both the House and Senate, the plan – hammered out by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray — would avoid another government shutdown on Jan. 15.
Speaking at a news conference Tuesday evening, Ryan said the budget plan doesn't raise taxes and that it's a "step in the right direction."
He said he sees the deal passing in the GOP-controlled House.
Murray said: "We have broken through the partisanship and gridlock" that could have caused another government shutdown.
The Associated Press writes:
"Officials said the increases would be offset by a variety of spending reductions and increased fees elsewhere in the budget totaling about $85 billion over a decade, enough for a largely symbolic cut of roughly $20 billion in the nation's $17 trillion debt."
The Washington Post wrote earlier:
"Senior aides familiar with the talks have said the emerging agreement aims to raise agency spending to roughly $1.015 trillion in fiscal 2014 and 2015. That would bring agency budgets up to the target already in place for fiscal 2016."
"Republican leaders were also seeking additional savings [to] reduce deficits projected to exceed $6 trillion over the next decade. But the deal is not expected to trim the debt, which is now larger, as a percentage of the economy, than at any point in U.S. history except during World War II."
According to the AP:
"The bipartisan push for a budget agreement stems from automatic cuts that are themselves the consequence of divided government's ability to complete a sweeping deficit reduction package in 2011."
"If left in place, the reductions would carve $91 billion from the day-to-day budgets of the Pentagon and domestic agencies when compared with spending limits set by the hard-fought 2011 budget agreement."
"Support for a deal to ease the reductions is strongest in Congress among defense hawks in both houses and both parties who fear the impact on military readiness from a looming $20 billion cut in Pentagon spending."
FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe said in a statement before the news conference on Tuesday: "It's disingenuous for Republicans to surrender the only real spending reforms [sequestration] accomplished under the Obama Administration, and call that a deal."
"Immediate spending and revenue hikes without long-term reforms to spending and entitlement programs isn't a deal, it's just another manufactured, govern-by-crisis shakedown," Kibbe said.