News Releases

Murray Continues Calling for Republicans to Choose a Bipartisan Budget Conference Over Brinkmanship

May 16 2013

Murray asks to move to conference with the House for eighth time, blocked by Senator Mike Lee, UT

Murray: “I urge my Republican colleagues in the Senate to take a step toward a responsible, bipartisan budget agreement, and a step away from governing by crisis”

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) delivered a speech on the Senate floor urging Senate Republicans to stop blocking the Senate from moving to a budget conference with the House.  Murray asked for unanimous consent to move to conference and for the eighth time, Senate Republicans refused.

Murray expressed hope that Senate Republicans will change course, agree to a bipartisan budget conference, and work with Democrats toward a balanced and fair deal. She criticized House Republicans for debating what to demand in return for not pushing the government into default and devastating the economy, rather than moving towards bipartisan negotiations.

Over the past few days, more and more Senate Republicans have come out in opposition to their leadership’s budget conference obstruction. Read more about Senate Republicans fracturing on this in Politico and CQ.

Watch Murray’s speech HERE

Key excerpts from Murray’s floor speech:

“…I am here today to ask again that Senate Republicans stop blocking the next step in regular order, and allow us to move to a bipartisan budget conference with the House. We have waited long enough, 54 days, in fact, and it is really time to get to work on a bipartisan budget agreement.”

“Senate Democrats see no reason to delay. We are proud of our budget, which puts forward a strong, fair vision for getting more Americans back to work, tackling our long term debt and deficit challenges, and laying a foundation for a strong middle class in the future.”

“…some of our Republican colleagues in the Senate and the House would rather wait until the next crisis, and see if they can extract political concessions with the clock ticking. Or maybe they don’t want to have to air the details of the unpopular House Budget. But either way, there is no excuse for putting the American people through another round of partisan brinkmanship. We’ve already seen that it hurts our economy, and it causes Americans to question whether their government is really working for them.”

“Just yesterday, House Republicans met to discuss what they’ll demand in exchange for not tanking the economy. Apparently they are considering “a laundry list” including repealing Obamacare, which the House will vote on for the 37th time today, and restrictions on women’s health choices. But House Republicans’ practice of leveraging crises for their own gain died with the Boehner Rule, and no amount of wishing is going to bring it back.”

The full text of Senator Murray’s speech follows:

“Madam President, I am here today to ask again that Senate Republicans stop blocking the next step in regular order, and allow us to move to a bipartisan budget conference with the House. We have waited long enough, 54 days, in fact, and it is really time to get to work on a bipartisan budget agreement.

“Senate Democrats see no reason to delay. We are proud of our budget, which puts forward a strong, fair vision for getting more Americans back to work, tackling our long term debt and deficit challenges, and laying a foundation for a strong middle class in the future.

“It seems, Madam President, that some of our Republican colleagues in the Senate and the House would rather wait until the next crisis, and see if they can extract political concessions with the clock ticking. Or maybe they don’t want to have to air the details of the unpopular House Budget. But either way, there is no excuse for putting the American people through another round of partisan brinkmanship. We’ve already seen that it hurts our economy, and it causes Americans to question whether their government is really working for them.

“Just yesterday, House Republicans met to discuss what they’ll demand in exchange for not tanking the economy. Apparently they are considering “a laundry list” including repealing Obamacare, which the House will vote on for the 37th time today, and restrictions on women’s health choices. But House Republicans’ practice of leveraging crises for their own gain died with the Boehner Rule, and no amount of wishing is going to bring it back.

“Because Madam President, House Republicans may think brinkmanship helps them win political fights, but it certainly doesn’t help American families and communities, and that is who we are here to serve. And so I urge my Republican colleagues in the Senate to take a step toward a responsible, bipartisan budget agreement, and a step away from governing by crisis.

“Madam President, I ask unanimous consent the Senate proceed to the consideration of Calendar No. 33, H. Con. Res. 25; that the amendment, which is at the desk, the text of S. Con. Res. 8, the budget resolution passed by the Senate, be inserted in lieu thereof; that H. Con. Res. 25, as amended, be agreed to; the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table; that the Senate insist on its amendment, request a conference with the House on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses, and the chair be authorized to appoint conferees on the part of the Senate, all with no intervening action or debate.

“Thank you, and I yield the floor.”