Chairman Murray Releases Memo To The Caucus On Updated Fiscal Outlook, Opportunity To Refocus on Creating Jobs And Investing in Opportunity

(Washington, D.C.) – Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) released a memo to Senate Democrats that outlines the $3.3 trillion in deficit reduction put in place since August 2010. The memo describes the improved near-term fiscal outlook, and makes the case for focusing more on job creation, expanding opportunity and generating broad-based economic growth while looking for ways to tackle our long-term debt challenges using a balanced and responsible approach.

See below for Senator Murray’s letter to her colleagues and click here to read the full memo.

Dear Colleagues,

At this time last year, Congress faced a series of fiscal deadlines that threatened to slow the recovery, cost jobs, and call into question the full faith and credit of the United States.

Democrats hoped to avoid these crises by passing a budget resolution and moving immediately to a bipartisan budget conference, but unfortunately, Republicans blocked our efforts for months. It ultimately took a harmful government shutdown and debt limit fight to get Republicans to agree to stop avoiding compromise and come to the table.

The two-year bipartisan budget deal House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and I reached in those negotiations showed that we can set aside the partisanship and make compromises for the good of the country. Working across the aisle, we were able to restore much-needed certainty to the budget process by setting spending levels not just for this current fiscal year, but also for fiscal year 2015. We replaced a significant share of the damaging cuts from sequestration with smarter savings from elsewhere in the budget, ensured that appropriators can move forward on filling out the details of our budget deal, and took the threat of another government shutdown off the table.

In the coming year, free of the arbitrary fiscal deadlines and damaging manufactured crises that have demanded so much attention recently, we need to take the opportunity to build on this bipartisan foundation.

This opportunity is particularly significant because of improvements in our near-term fiscal outlook. With $3.3 trillion in deficit reduction put in place over the last few years and near-term deficits declining to 3 percent of the economy, we have some breathing room to focus more on creating jobs, expanding opportunity and generating broad-based economic growth now and into the future—while we keep looking for ways to tackle our long-term fiscal challenges using a balanced and responsible approach.

As all of us continue to work on these priorities in the coming months, the attached memo will provide an update on the deficit reduction we have put in place since August 2010 and what our country’s fiscal outlook is going forward.  The memo will also point out some of the other deficits we are increasingly facing—like those in job growth, innovation, infrastructure and education.  Each of these is critical to the United States’ long-term competitiveness and to economic security for workers and families across the country, which is why many of us would like to make progress on them this year.

I hope this information is useful to you, and I look forward to our continued efforts to fight for more opportunity and prosperity for the hardworking families and communities we serve.

Patty Murray
Chairman, Senate Budget Committee