December 10th, 2013


Lisa Benson / Washington Post - 10 December 2013 : Congress budget deal

ETA: Deal reached.

Senior Republican and Democratic lawmakers indicated Tuesday that negotiators had reached a budget deal that would raise military and domestic spending over the next two years, shifting the pain of across-the-board cuts to other programs over the coming decade. The deal, while modest in scope, amounts to a cease-fire in the budget wars that have debilitated Washington since 2011 and gives lawmakers breathing room to try to address the drivers of the national debt — growing health care and entitlement programs — and to reshape the tax code. Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the Senate Budget Committee chairwoman, who is leading the negotiations, said it was likely that she would present it publicly Tuesday afternoon.

But the accord is taking increasing fire from conservatives on and off Capitol Hill, who are excoriating Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, the House Budget Committee chairman, for rolling back immediate spending cuts in exchange for promised savings that may never materialize. Heritage Action, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation, which is influential with House Republicans, came out against the deal even before it was announced, as did Americans for Prosperity, the advocacy group backed by the conservative Koch brothers. “The American people demanded, and were promised, reasonable spending limits,” said Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity. “Politicians choosing to go back on their promise will be held accountable for their actions.”