Budget Blog

Today, Chairman Murray had planned to speak at the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference to emphasize the importance of combating hunger in our country. Unfortunately, a snow storm in the area prevented her from attending.

Excerpts from her speech, as prepared for delivery, can be found after the jump.
Working hard in a full time job shouldn’t leave a family in poverty. But right now, a minimum wage worker, who puts in 40 hours a week, with no time off, earns $15,080 a year. That’s $3,204 less than the poverty threshold for a family of three. In 2012, for a family of four, the poverty threshold was $23,492 a year, that’s more than $8,412 less than a minimum wage worker earns in a year.

The current minimum wage makes it nearly impossible for working parents to make ends meet.

As Congress approaches the deadline to raise the debt ceiling, Republicans are once again threatening to manufacture a debt limit crisis in order to win policy concessions. Chairman Murray and Democrats have made clear that they will not negotiate over whether or not the United States pay its bills on time, and have called on Republicans to drop their demands and agree to join Democrats in preventing default.

At Tuesday's Senate Budget Committee hearing, Dr. Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics, said defaulting on the nation's debt would be "catastrophic."

Watch the full clip here:

At the hearing, Chairman Murray repeated her call for Republicans to "give up their demands and raise the debt ceiling without any strings attached, and then work with Democrats on the real challenges we face."  

Read more here.

Jan 16 2014

A New Budget for National Priorities

Appropriations legislation clears the Senate 72-26

Today, the Senate approved appropriations legislation that eases the across-the-board spending cuts that have been detrimental to priorities like education, research, and infrastructure investments. This bill, which passed the Senate 72- 26, fills in the details of the bipartisan budget deal that Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan reached in December. See more below:

A New Budget to Invest in National Priorities

Today, President Obama signed the budget agreement brokered by Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Paul Ryan. The deal is a much-needed first step to refocus Congress’ attention on priorities like education, medical research, infrastructure investments, and military readiness.

Senator Murray wants to use this new law as a foundation for continued bipartisan work. Be sure to stay tuned to this site to keep up with the Senate Budget Committee’s ideas for continuing that work in 2014. And don’t forget to share your ideas and priorities for the national budget here.

In a vote that can hopefully end the constant budget crises we've seen here in DC over the past few years, the Senate approved the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 by 64-36. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) reached the bipartisan compromise, which passed through the House of Representatives last week with a 332-94 majority, and now heads to the President's desk for signature.

Prior to Senate passage, Chairman Murray spoke on the Senate floor, urging colleagues to support the bill. Murray said the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, “…breaks through the partisanship and gridlock, and shows that Congress can function when Democrats and Republicans work together to make some compromises for the good of the country.” Murray also expressed optimism that this compromise, “can be a foundation for continued bipartisan work, because we have so many big challenges we need to tackle for the families and communities we represent.”

Since the Senate budget passed in March, Chairman Murray has fought to begin a budget conference, and has called on Democrats and Republicans to work together to end the constant cycle of governing by crisis.

Chairman Patty Murray penned a blog post for the Huffington Post on why passing the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 is so important. Read key excerpts from the piece below, or check out the full post here.

"A few months ago, a man named Timothy wrote to me saying that before this year, he had never even heard the word sequestration. But, working as an engineer at an Air Force base, along with his father and brother, he soon learned what sequestration meant. For him and his family, it meant furloughs. It meant layoffs. He told me that with all the twists and turns, it meant life had become like a roller coaster ride.

Unfortunately, Congress has been driving that roller coaster in recent years. As families across the country have been reeling from the uncertainty and consequences of drastic spending cuts, Congress has been governing from crisis to crisis. We've lurched from fiscal cliffs, to debt limit brinkmanship, to a government shutdown.

But last week, Chairman Paul Ryan and I agreed to a deal, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. While the deal isn't perfect, it breaks through the partisanship and gridlock of recent years. It rolls back automatic spending cuts for the next two years -- cuts that have been devastating for education, medical research, infrastructure investments, and defense jobs. It's a compromise that put jobs, the economy, and families first. And critically, if it passes, it means there won't be another government shutdown in January."

Read the full post here.

Despite skepticism that the bipartisan budget conference could even reach a deal, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. In a statement, Chairman Patty Murray said:

Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013: overcoming skepticism

"We are now one step closer to a bipartisan budget that would prevent another crisis and roll back devastating cuts to education, medical research, and investments in economic growth.

This compromise bill isn’t what either side would have written on our own, but it is a strong step in the right direction and can hopefully serve as the foundation for continued bipartisan work."

Click on the image for more. Need more information about the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013? Click here

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 rolls back $63 billion in sequestration cuts scheduled to go into effect in fiscal years 2014 and 2015 and replaces them with a mix of responsible spending cuts and new revenue. Click on the image below to see more on why this agreement is a good deal for jobs, economic growth and families. 

Bipartisan Budget Act is a Good Deal