Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray are, in many ways, opposites. But their budget deal shows the parameters of bipartisanship today: Think narrow, be pragmatic, and talk … a lot.
By Francine Kiefer, Staff writer / December 11, 2013
This file photo shows House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin and Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D) of Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington. The two struck a bipartisan budget deal Tuesday.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin and Sen. Patty Murray (D) of Washington could hardly be more unlike.
Representative Ryan is the conservative wunderkind who could have been the vice president of the United States by now. Senator Murray is the former preschool teacher who works quietly behind the scenes and once basically ran the Senate Appropriations Committee for Robert Byrd, the powerful Democrat from West Virginia, when he was ill.
Ryan is Captain Cutback – the man whose vision for reforming Medicare and Social Security make Murray shudder right down to the soles of her sensible shoes. In fact, Murray reportedly advised her close ally, Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D) of Nevada, not to accept a compromise with Republicans during the October government shutdown, worried that the deal would involve too much of a hit to safety-net programs. Continue reading “How Congress’s odd couple reached a remarkable budget deal”