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MURRAY – RYAN BUDGET AGREEMENT PASSES SENATE

Dec 18 2013

Bill now heads to President’s desk for signature

Murray on Bipartisan Budget Act: “puts jobs and economic growth first,” “breaks through partisanship and gridlock,” “a dramatic improvement over the status quo”

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(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, the bipartisan compromise reached by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), passed the Senate by a vote of 64 -36. The bill, which passed through the House of Representatives last week by a 332-94 majority, now heads to the President’s desk for signature.

  • Prior to Senate passage, Senator Murray spoke on the Senate floor, urging colleagues to support the bill. Murray said the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, “…breaks through the partisanship and gridlock, and shows that Congress can function when Democrats and Republicans work together to make some compromises for the good of the country.” Murray also expressed optimism that this compromise, “can be a foundation for continued bipartisan work, because we have so many big challenges we need to tackle for the families and communities we represent.”

Since the Senate budget passed in March, Senator Murray has fought to begin a budget conference, and has called on Democrats and Republicans to work together to end the constant cycle governing by crisis.  

Details of the bill follow:

 Key Excerpts From Senator Murray’s Speech:

“…the American people are sick and tired of the constant crises we’ve seen here in D.C. over the past few years. They want us to work together, solve some problems, and focus on jobs, families, and broad-based economic growth. That’s why I am so glad that we are headed to a final vote on the budget agreement Chairman Ryan and I reached, that breaks through the partisanship and gridlock, and shows that Congress can function when Democrats and Republicans work together to make some compromises for the good of the country.

“If we didn’t get a deal, we would have faced another continuing resolution that would have locked in the automatic cuts or worse, a potential government shutdown in just a few short weeks.”

“Mr. President, this bill isn’t exactly what I would have written on my own, and I’m pretty sure it’s not what Chairman Ryan would have written on his own. It’s a compromise—and that means neither side got everything they wanted, and both sides had to give a bit.” 

“…I am hopeful this deal can be a foundation for continued bipartisan work, because we have so many big challenges we need to tackle for the families and communities we represent.”

Full Text of Senator Murray’s Speech:

“Mr. President, the American people are sick and tired of the constant crises we’ve seen here in D.C. over the past few years. 

“They want us to work together, solve some problems, and focus on jobs, families, and broad-based economic growth.

“That’s why I am so glad that we are headed to a final vote on the budget agreement Chairman Ryan and I reached, that breaks through the partisanship and gridlock, and shows that Congress can function when Democrats and Republicans work together to make some compromises for the good of the country. 

“Mr. President, the Bipartisan Budget Act puts jobs and economic growth first by rolling back automatic and harmful cuts to education, medical research, infrastructure investments, and defense jobs for the next two years

“If we didn’t get a deal, we would have faced another continuing resolution that would have locked in the automatic cuts or worse, a potential government shutdown in just a few short weeks. 

“This bill replaces almost two-thirds of this year’s cuts to domestic discretionary investments, and prevents the next round of defense cuts scheduled to hit in January. 

“It won’t solve every problem the automatic cuts have caused, but it is a step in the right direction and a dramatic improvement over the status quo.

“This bill also builds on the $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we’ve done since 2011 with an additional $23 billion in responsible savings across the federal budget.

“And crucially, we protected the fragile economic recovery by spreading the savings out responsibly over the next ten years, and maintained the key precedent that sequestration can’t be replaced with spending cuts alone.

“Mr. President, this bill isn’t exactly what I would have written on my own, and I’m pretty sure it’s not what Chairman Ryan would have written on his own.

“It’s a compromise—and that means neither side got everything they wanted, and both sides had to give a bit.

“But I am hopeful this deal can be a foundation for continued bipartisan work, because we have so many big challenges we need to tackle for the families and communities we represent.

“I want to thank my colleague from across the Capitol, Chairman Ryan for his work on this with me over the past two months. He stood up with courage, he was an honest broker, a tough negotiator, but in the end we were able to come up with an agreement and I really want to commend him for that.

“I want to thank our Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen, who worked steadfastly with us.

“I want to thank Leader Reid, and all of our leadership for their support throughout the budget process as we worked to negotiate this deal and move it through the Senate.

“I also want to thank the members of the Senate Budget Committee who worked so hard to pass a budget, start a conference, and reach this bipartisan deal.

“Senators Ron Wyden, Bill Nelson, Debbie Stabenow, Bernie Sanders. Sheldon Whitehouse, Mark Warner, Jeff Merkley, Chris Coons, Tammy Baldwin, Tim Kaine, and Angus King

“As well as all of the Republicans who worked with us this year.

“I also want to thank the members of our staffs who worked so hard with us on this.

“From my office, Budget Committee Staff Director Evan Schatz, Deputy Staff Director John Righter, Budget Committee Communications Director Eli Zupnick, my Chief of Staff Mike Spahn, and many other staff members who we could not be successful without — whose names I’ll insert into the record.

“And from Chairman Ryan’s office, Budget Committee Staff Director Austin Smythe, Policy Director Jonathan Burks, and many more who helped us be successful.

“I also want to thank David Krone from Leader Reid’s office, Kris Sarri with Office of Management and Budget. As well as Director Doug Elmendorf, Bob Sunshine, Pete Fontaine and the staff at the Congressional Budget Office for their hard work and support.

“Mr. President, I urge my colleagues to vote to support the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 to put jobs and economic growth first and give the American people the certainty they deserve

“Thank you, Mr. President—I yield the floor.”