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"President Barack Obama was on the phone repeatedly with Sen. Patty Murray during the high-stakes budget talks and asked how he could help. Murray’s response: I got this. The veteran Washington Democrat, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, had quietly and methodically built a close relationship with a man long vilified by the White House and congressional Democrats: Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican and Mitt Romney’s running mate. But after private negotiations with each other, starting in the Senate dining room exactly a year ago and culminating after Murray’s tense talks with furious House Democrats, the two were able to do what seemed impossible in a gridlocked Congress: Reach a bipartisan budget accord."

"For Murray, the task was particularly tricky — and a test of whether she could use her growing clout to cut a deal after failing to reach one on the deficit-cutting supercommittee just two years ago. She needed broad support from her party for the plan she was drafting with Ryan, a Republican whose previous budgets worked as a campaign foil for Democrats."

"On Thursday, the House passed the Ryan-Murray budget on a resounding 332-94 vote, reducing the chances of another government shutdown next year and restoring certainty to the dysfunctional appropriations process. Sixty votes will be needed to break an expected Senate GOP filibuster next week, meaning the vote could be close. If it passes the Senate, it would amount to a temporary cease-fire in the budget wars that have consumed Washington since voters elected a divided Congress in 2010."