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Congress passes two year budget deal, avoids shutdown

Tuesday’s Ryan-Murray budget deal was approved overwhelmingly Thursday afternoon. The House approved the budget 332 to 94, with 169 Republicans and 163 Democrats voting in favor, and 62 Republicans and 32 Democrats voting against. The Senate will vote next week on the measure.

It’s one of the first bipartisan agreements reached by Congress in years.

Rep. Paul Ryan, Wis.-R, and Sen. Patty Murray, Wash.-D, worked on the budget proposal for months and presented their deal before the Dec. 13 deadline.

The Ryan-Murray budget plan would spend $1.012 trillion in fiscal year 2014 and $1.014 trillion in 2015. (The plan would eliminate $63 billion in sequestration cuts and trim $22.5 billion from the deficit of $17.2 trillion.)

What was the reaction in Washington, D.C.?

President Barack Obama praised the deal as “a good first step” and said he would add his signature to the bill if it reaches his desk.

That’s a big if.

Democrats were said to give a thumbs-down to the proposed two-year budget deal which would cut the federal employee pension system and would include no new tax revenue. They also object that there is no extension of unemployment benefits. But only 32 opposed the budget deal. (Unemployment benefits are set to expire on Dec. 31.)

Not all of Ryan’s fellow Republicans were supportive of the deal.

Fiscal conservatives were opposed to spending levels greater than the $967 billion level set by sequestration cuts, which will take effect if the bipartisan measure fails in Senate. Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, Ky., and Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah-R, gave the proposal a chilling response. “My initial reaction is ‘no,’” said Hatch.

Possible presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, Fla.-R, was one of the first to give the bipartisan budget deal a thumbs down, stating: “The American people deserve better than this.”

Well Senator, that may be true, but what the American people do not want is another government shutdown.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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