Budget Negotiators Agree on One Thing: Avoiding Another Shutdown

Budget Negotiators Agree on One Thing: Avoiding Another Shutdown

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, has introduced a bill to end government shutdowns.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, has introduced a bill to end government shutdowns. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Congressional budget negotiators on Wednesday attempted to temper expectations for a big deal, and lawmakers dug in along party lines on the issue of continuing sequestration.

The bicameral budget conference committee, put into place as a condition of reopening the government after the recent 16-day shutdown, held its first official meeting Wednesday and each of the 29 members spoke on the need to reduce the federal deficit. While Democrats and Republicans largely disagreed on how to get there, they largely agreed on one idea: think small.

“I don’t think we’re going to do a grand bargain here,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. “Let’s at least do a good bargain for the American people.” Continue reading “Budget Negotiators Agree on One Thing: Avoiding Another Shutdown”

Five things to know about the Ryan-Murray budget conference committee

Five things to know about the Ryan-Murray budget conference committee

The government shutdown is over. That means the work is just beginning for a group of lawmakers tasked with hashing out a long-term budget deal.

The group, led by Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and her House counterpart Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), was formed as part of the deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. Murray and Ryan kicked off talks over breakfast Thursday morning.

(Win McNamee/Getty Images)(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Here’s what you need to know about the group, which the country will have a close eye on during the next couple of months:

1. It has 29 members. The bipartisan, bicameral group includes the entire Senate Budget Committee, as well as four House Republicans and three House Democrats. Here’s the full list:

House Republicans: 
Ryan
Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.)
Rep. Tom Price (Ga.)
Rep. Diane Black (Tenn.)

House Democrats:
Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.)
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.)
Rep. Nita Lowey (N.Y.)

Senate Republicans:
Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.)
Sen. Charles Grassley (Iowa)
Sen. Mike Enzi (Wyo.)
Sen. Mike Crapo (Idaho)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.)
Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio)
Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.)
Sen. Ron Johnson (Wis.)
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.)
Sen. Roger Wicker (Miss.)

From Senate Democratic Caucus: 
Murray
Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.)
Sen. Bill Nelson (Fla.)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.)
Sen. Mark Warner (Va.)
Sen. Jeff Merkley (Ore.)
Sen. Chris Coons (Del.)
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.)
Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.)
Sen. Angus King (Maine) Continue reading “Five things to know about the Ryan-Murray budget conference committee”