House Passes Bipartisan Budget Deal
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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — A plan to set the federal budget for the next two years passed in the House with a large bipartisan vote of 332-94.
The deal was brokered earlier in the week by House and Senate Budget Committee chairs, Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray. Even President Barack Obama was on board. All without anyone threatening to repeal this or shut down that.
This federal budget deal will replace mandatory, across-the-board cuts from sequestration with a different set of spending cuts and non-tax revenue, including new fees on airline tickets CBS News reported. Spending will be set for the 2014 fiscal year at $1.012 trillion, including $63 billion of sequester relief and $85 billion of total savings. Roughly $23 billion in net deficit reduction will be the result under this new agreement.
The agreement would avert another government shutdown in January. The negotiators spoke of finding common ground, however narrow, in pursuit of a larger goal.
“On balance, my view is this is a step forward,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen. “A small one, but a step forward.”
“We have shown that we can work together,” said Ryan.
In the Senate, it wasn’t immediately clear whether Republican conservatives would follow their House counterparts and grudgingly accept the Ryan-Murray budget, or rebel against it.
Sen. Marco Rubio, who like Ryan is counted among his party’s presidential contenders, criticized the deal. “I think to walk away from the already agreed-upon reductions in spending that were so difficult to achieve, I think opens the floodgates that really threaten to put us right back in these spending habits,” he said.
If the deal passes the Senate as well, Congress stands to return to a more normal process for the next two years instead of budgeting by emergency short-term measures every few months.
According to CBS News, House Speaker John Boehner has been laying into conservative groups who are warning members not to support the deal stating that they’ve lost all credibility.
“They pushed us into this fight to defund Obamacare and to shut down the government,” Boehner said. “Most of you know my members know that wasn’t exactly the strategy I had in mind. The day before the government reopened one of these groups stood and said , ‘well we never really thought it would work.’”
Boehner lashed out during a press conference Wednesday against groups like Heritage Action and the Club for Growth. He came to the floor during the debate to voice his support for the deal and to encourage his colleagues to vote in favor of it.
“Is it perfect? Does it go far enough? No, not at all,” Boehner said. “I think its going to take a lot more work to get our arms around our debt and our deficit but this budget is a positive, positive step in that direction. It’s progress. It’s doing what the American people expect us to do.”
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