Chairman Patty Murray's Statement on Bipartisan Deal to End the Shutdown, Avoid Default, and Begin a Budget Conference

Washington, D.C—Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), chairman of the Budget Committee, released the following statement after the bipartisan deal was announced that would end the government shutdown, allow the federal government to pay the bills it has already accrued, and begin the bipartisan budget conference that she’s been trying to start for the past six months.

“I am very glad that Republicans have agreed to end this completely unnecessary government shutdown, have taken the threat of default off the table, and are finally willing to sit down with us in the budget conference I've been trying to start for six months. This is a strong step forward for the families and communities across the country who want Congress to work together to put jobs and economic growth first, tackle our long-term challenges fairly and responsibly, and stop lurching from crisis to crisis.

“There are significant differences between the House and Senate budgets, but I am absolutely committed to finding common ground and I hope Republicans are too. Past budget negotiations have deadlocked because we couldn’t agree on a path to invest in jobs or pay down our debt by closing tax loopholes used by the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations, but I am hopeful that this time both sides will be ready to put everything on the table and make some tough choices to get to a balanced and bipartisan deal.

“There is bipartisan agreement that the across-the-board cuts from sequestration are a terrible way to cut spending and are hurting families, the economy, and our national security. Both the Senate and House budgets make changes to sequestration, and I am hopeful that with another round of painful cuts coming in January, both sides will have a strong incentive to work together on fair, common-sense replacements to these cuts, which were never intended to be implemented.

“Now that it is clear that there will ultimately be bipartisan support for clean debt limit increases even if it takes until the last minute to get it done, the empty threat of using a potential economic catastrophe as a bargaining chip should be set aside. I continue to stand with President Obama in making it very clear that we will not be negotiating over the debt limit now, four months from now, or ever.

“It is also now clear that the Tea Party strategy of pushing the country into a government shutdown is devastating for them politically and does nothing more than hurt families and the economy. I am hopeful that responsible Republicans have seen how much damage this brinkmanship has done to the economy and to their party and they will end the practice of threatening to shut down the government if a minority of members don’t get their way.”