Bipartisan Negotiators Unveil Budget To Avoid January Shutdown

December 10, 2013

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.

However, three powerful conservative lobby groups, FreedomWorks, Heritage Action and CATO, have all have said recently that they didn't approve of the emerging deal.

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.

Story source: NPR