In the News

Key Excerpts:

"The Senate voted Tuesday to advance a bipartisan two-year budget deal – a move that puts Capitol Hill one step closer to a thaw in the fiscal wars that have paralyzed Washington. The chamber agreed 67-33 to cut off debate on the budget agreement reached by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) last week. Final passage is virtually guaranteed now and a vote is slated for no later than Wednesday. 'This deal is a compromise. It doesn’t tackle every one of the challenges we face as a nation, but that was never our goal,' Murray said. 'This bipartisan bill takes the first steps toward rebuilding our broken budget process and hopefully, toward rebuilding our broken Congress.'”
Key Excerpts:

"That Congress could soon pass a budget agreement after months of relentless partisan showdowns is thanks in large part to a mom in tennis shoes. Sen. Patty Murray presented herself in that ordinary way when she first ran as a Democrat to represent Washington state, and skeptics questioned her political savvy — and footwear. In the two decades since that long-shot campaign, the petite, no-nonsense lawmaker has quietly ascended to the top levels of Senate power. As chairwoman of the Budget Committee, Murray negotiated a breakthrough $85-billion accord in one-on-one talks with Rep. Paul D. Ryan, the former GOP vice presidential contender from Wisconsin who is known for his austere approach to the federal budget."
Key Excerpts:

"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."
Key Excerpts:

"A breakthrough budget deal that avoids a government shutdown in January and blunts automatic spending cuts easily won passage in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, laying the groundwork for two years free of funding crises. The 332-94 bipartisan vote sends the measure to the Senate, which is expected to pass it next week despite the objections of conservative political groups that say it violates their core goal of cutting government spending."
Key Excerpts:

"House and Senate budget negotiators reached agreement Tuesday on 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 and raising fees on airline tickets to pay for airport security. The deal, while modest in scope, amounts to a ceasefire in the budget wars that have debilitated Washington since 2011 and gives lawmakers breathing room to try to address the real drivers of the national debt – burgeoning health care and entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security – and to reshape the tax code."
Key Excerpts:

“And while she said she believes Republicans would again pay the price for another showdown, Murray insisted she'd prefer a deal. ‘I'm a Democrat. I want Democrats to be in the majority, I want to us to be the party that sets the priorities -- I'm all for that,’ she said. ‘But we also need a strong Republican Party of good people, who come here, who passionately care for things but are also willing to sit down and compromise. That's what makes a democracy work.’"
Key Excerpts:

“I am willing to meet Republicans halfway and make some compromises when it comes to additional spending reductions. Democrats won’t agree to irresponsible cuts that hurt seniors and families, but we can find responsible savings across the federal budget to get to a fair deal. Compromise, however, runs both ways. While we scour programs to identify savings, Republicans have to work with us to scour the bloated tax code and close loopholes used by the wealthiest Americans and corporations to replace the other half of sequestration.”
Key Excerpts:

“Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) vowed Tuesday to work for middle class families during the budget conference committee process by fully replacing sequestration. ‘Something both Democrats and Republicans agree on is that the very least, this budget conference should be able to accomplish — the absolute minimum — is finding a path to replacing sequestration,' Murray said on the Senate floor."