Here’s what’s in Paul Ryan and Patty Murray’s mini-budget deal

Here’s what’s in Paul Ryan and Patty Murray’s mini-budget deal

Posted by Ezra Klein on December 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm

1. The total deal is $85 billion. About $45 billion of that replaces sequestration cuts in 2014. About $20 billion replaces sequestration cuts in 2015. About $20 billion is deficit reduction atop sequestration.

2. The sequestration relief is evenly divided between defense spending and non-defense discretionary spending. The sequester’s cuts to mandatory spending are unaffected.

Murray and Ryan made a deal! (Photo by Scott Applewhite/AP)

Murray and Ryan made a deal! (Photo by Scott Applewhite/AP) Continue reading “Here’s what’s in Paul Ryan and Patty Murray’s mini-budget deal”

Conservatives balk at budget deal

Conservatives balk at budget deal

By: Ginger Gibson
December 10, 2013 07:03 PM EST

Jeff Sessions is pictured. | AP Photo

‘I don’t think anything is a sure deal in the House or the Senate,’ Jeff Sessions said. | AP Photo

It’s a familiar tale: Negotiators strike a fiscal deal, conservative lawmakers express resistance, conservative groups threaten primary opposition and headaches ensue for Republican leadership trying to get something through Congress.

It happened during the fiscal cliff. It happened during the government shutdown. And the same elements are starting to appear, possibly creating a repeat scenario as a budget deal takes shape.

As Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) were only a few hours from announcing a budget deal Tuesday night that would replace some of the sequester and set spending levels for the next two years, conservatives concerned about the debt already are starting to sound alarms — specifically about busting the so-called caps under the sequester that set spending levels at $967 billion for the remainder of fiscal 2014 under the Budget Control Act. Many conservatives view the sequester cuts as harsh but necessary. Continue reading “Conservatives balk at budget deal”

A Least Bad Budget Deal

Review & Outlook

A Least Bad Budget Deal

More spending now for some genuine, if modest, reforms.

Dec. 10, 2013 11:20 p.m. ET
The best that can be said about the House-Senate budget deal announced late Tuesday is that it includes no tax increases, no new incentives for not working, and some modest entitlement reforms. Oh, and it will avoid another shutdown fiasco, assuming enough Republicans refuse to attempt suicide a second time.

The worst part of the two-year deal is that it breaks the 2011 Budget Control Act’s discretionary spending caps for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. The deal breaks the caps by some $63 billion over the two years and then re-establishes the caps starting in 2016 where they are in current law at $1.016 trillion. Half of the increase will go to defense and half to the domestic accounts prized by Democrats.


Breaking the caps is a victory for Senate Democrats and House Republican Appropriators like Oklahoma’s Tom Cole, who will get more money to spend and will dodge another continuing resolution that doesn’t allow them to set spending priorities. It would be nice to think they’ll spend the money on such useful purposes as cancer or Alzheimer’s research at the National Institutes of Health. But they will also get to dole out pork. The deal means overall federal spending will not decline in 2014 as it has the last two years.

WIsconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and Washington Sen. Patty Murray in a press conference on the budget plan. Bloomberg News Continue reading “A Least Bad Budget Deal”

Budget deal is sealed


December 10, 2013, 07:00 pm

Budget deal is sealed

By Russell Berman, Erik Wasson and Mike Lillis

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced a budget deal Tuesday evening that would call for about $1 trillion in federal spending in 2014 while replacing some sequestration cuts.

The deal replaces $63 billion in sequester cuts over two years and trims an additional $23 billion in long-term deficits.

“This deal doesn’t solve all of our problems, but I think it is an important step to heal some of the wounds here in Congress,” Murray said in a joint press conference with Ryan at the Capitol.Ryan, the architect of House Republican budget proposals in recent years, called the agreement “a step in the right direction” and defended the deal as consistent with conservative principles. He noted that it reduced the deficit by $23 billion without raising taxes and said it was the first budget agreement with divided government in Washington since 1986. Continue reading “Budget deal is sealed”

U.S. budget deal nears amid conservative opposition

U.S. budget deal nears amid conservative opposition

By Richard Cowan and David Lawder 1 hour ago
Murray walks to a Senate Democratic caucus luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington .
U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) (C) walks to a Senate Democratic caucus luncheon at the U.S. Capitol …

By Richard Cowan and David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Budget negotiators in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday were wrapping up a tentative deal on a budget plan to avoid a January 15 government shutdown, amid warnings from conservative groups that they would oppose it.

The plan does not purport to be any “grand bargain” that would slash the federal deficit.

It remains uncertain whether it will pass both houses of Congress. But if it does, it could put an end for the time being to dramatic budget standoffs that have rattled markets in the past, allowing lawmakers to write annual spending bills in a more orderly fashion. Congress has not enacted a budget bill since 2009. Continue reading “U.S. budget deal nears amid conservative opposition”