Washington, D.C—Incoming Senate Budget Committee chairman U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement today on the budget process.
“This year, following the two years that the bipartisan Budget Control Act took the place of a Congressional Budget, the Senate will once again return to regular order and move a budget resolution through the Budget Committee and to the Senate floor. I’ve been discussing this path with my colleagues in the weeks since the year-end deal before I officially became chairman of this committee, and now that Congress is back in session, we are ready to get to work.
“Democrats and Republicans spent the last year laying out our budget values and priorities on the campaign trail, and the American people went to the polls and strongly endorsed the Democrats' balanced approach that puts jobs and the middle class first, calls on the wealthy to pay their fair share, protects seniors and families, and lays down a strong foundation for long-term economic growth.
“Democrats are eager to contrast our pro-growth, pro-middle class budget priorities with the House Republicans’ Ryan budget that would end Medicare as we know it, gut investments in jobs and programs middle class families depend on, and cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations. We know that when our priorities are laid out next to Republicans’, the public stands with us.
“For years, Congressional Republicans have used every crisis they could manufacture to litigate the federal budget outside the regular budget process without any regard for the impact of their actions on workers and the economy. From threats of government shutdown each time an appropriations bill was about to lapse, to the artificial debt ceiling crisis of 2011 that required the Budget Control Act, to the year-end fiscal cliff brinksmanship—Republicans have time and again pulled budget negotiations out of the Budget Committees in ways that rattled the markets, hurt the economy, and increased uncertainty.
“In fact, on the very same day that Republicans came out with their latest effort to hold the debt limit hostage in a claimed attempt to move the budget process toward regular order, they doubled down on their plan to use the upcoming negotiations on sequestration and a potential government shutdown to extract more cuts to programs seniors and middle class families depend on.
“Republicans can either say they want to have a budget debate in the Budget Committees, or they can say they would prefer to negotiate the issue lurching from crisis to crisis—but they can’t say both. It simply doesn’t make sense.
“So if Republicans are truly interested in moving this debate back into the Budget Committees and back to regular order then they ought to actually deliver on that rhetoric. That means putting a stop to the debt limit hostage-taking, ending the constant brinksmanship, and truly engaging in an honest effort to work with us toward the balanced and bipartisan budget deal the American people expect and deserve.
“Senate Democrats plan to move on a budget resolution regardless of whether the House rolls this issue into their short-term bill to increase the debt limit. I am ready to get to work with my colleagues on the Budget Committee and I look forward to fighting for middle class budget values and priorities in a conference with Chairman Ryan and the House.”