In the News

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Key Excerpts:

"Congress declared a holiday truce in the budget wars Wednesday, sending President Obama a blueprint for funding the government through 2015. But the next skirmish was already on the horizon: an election-year fight over the national debt. The budget deal that passed the Senate on Wednesday amounts to a handshake agreement to avoid a government shutdown when a temporary funding measure expires Jan. 15. However, the accord does not address the need once again to raise the debt limit, setting up a potentially complicated confrontation in late February or early March."

"Congressional leaders appointed Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to negotiate a cease-fire. The resulting agreement would roll back sharp spending cuts known as the sequester over the next two years, sparing the Pentagon from more reductions and restoring billions of dollars for domestic programs."

"Last week, the deal sailed through the House and, on Wednesday, it easily passed the Senate, 64 to 36. Nine Republicans joined all 55 members of the Senate Democratic caucus in voting yes. Murray stood in the well of the chamber as the vote unfolded, accepting pats on the back from colleagues in both parties. 'The American people are sick and tired of the constant crises we’ve seen here in D.C. over the past few years,' Murray said on the Senate floor. 'I am hopeful this deal 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.'”