Although Murray and Ryan support the proposal and expressed optimism for its prospects, it still must pass both the House and the Senate. In the House, it faces growing opposition from the same right-wingers who forced the government shutdown in October.
Ryan described it as "a budget agreement that reduces spending without raising taxes" while easing the pain of the "arbitrary" spending cuts of the sequester. "This agreement makes sure we don't have a shutdown scenario in January and that we don't have a shutdown scenario in October," Ryan said. "This also shows that we can work together to get our government functioning at its very basic levels."
"For far too long here in Washington, DC, compromise has been a dirty word when it comes to the budget," Murray said. "We have broken through the partisanship and gridlock and reached a bipartisan agreement that will prevent a government shutdown in January [...] and roll back sequestration cuts." Murray said that the deal supports the principle that "sequestration cuts shouldn't be replaced by spending cuts alone."
"I was disappointed that we were unable to close even a single corporate loophole," Murray added. "There's a lot more for Congress to do—this deal doesn't solve all of our problems." Among those problems: The expiration of emergency unemployment benefits, which this deal will not extend.
Ryan, addressing the question of whether conservatives will bolt on the deal, said that it will reduce the deficit without increasing taxes and that he'd therefore urge conservatives to vote for it. "I think we will pass this through the House," he said. Ryan said the House would vote on the bill before the Senate, and said he expected the vote to take place this week.
Murray said she has been in close contact with Senate Democratic leadership and her colleagues, but said she was confident it would receive enough support to pass. Ryan said House leadership and committee chairmen supported the deal, although he didn't talk about rank and file. Ryan also pointed out that spending levels in this bill are lower than the budget bill that House Republicans passed last year.
Murray and Ryan both said unemployment insurance was "not part of this agreement." Murray said House and Senate leaders were continue to talk about extending unemployment insurance, but did not say whether a separate vote had been promised.
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