News Releases

Key Excerpts From Chairman Murray’s Statement:

“… I believe this bipartisan budget conference offers us the opportunity to rebuild some trust, find a path to compromise, and work together to create jobs and boost our fragile economy…I am hopeful we can at least show that bipartisanship is possible, that we can work together to solve some problems, and that we can break free from the gridlock and dysfunction that has dominated our nation’s capital for far too long.”

 “…I agree with those who say the very least this conference should be able to do—the absolute minimum—is find a way to come together around replacing sequestration and setting a budget level for at least the short-term. This won’t be easy, the House and Senate budgets are very different even for just this year. But if both sides are willing to move out of their partisan corners and offer up some compromises, I am confident it can be done.”

“I am going into this budget conference ready to agree to some tough spending cuts that, unlike the sequester caps that disappear in 2022, would be permanently locked into law. I know there are many Republicans who would be very interested in swapping some of the inefficient and damaging sequester cuts with structural changes to programs that would save many multiples of the cuts they replace over the coming decades. I am ready to listen to their ideas and, as long as they are fair for seniors and families—I’m ready to make some tough concessions to get a deal.”

But compromise runs both ways.  While we scour programs to find responsible savings, Republicans are also going to have to work with us to scour the bloated tax code— and close some wasteful tax loopholes and special interest subsidies. Because it is unfair—and unacceptable—to ask seniors and families to bear this burden alone.

“Sequestration is bad policy—and Democrats and Republicans have said it’s not sustainable—but it is going to continue to cost us jobs and cut vital services until we get a bipartisan deal to replace it that is fair for seniors and the middle class.”

“…if there is one lesson to be learned from past few weeks, it’s this: the only way we can avoid gridlock and crisis—and the only way either side can get what they want— is through compromise and bipartisanship.  That’s what the American people are expecting from this conference. And I am looking forward to getting to work.”

Full Text Of Chairman Murray’s Statement:

“Thank you Chairman Ryan. And I want to thank all of the members of this committee for joining us today to make opening statements and kick this conference off.

“After seeing the partisanship and dysfunction of the past few weeks, I know many people across the country are angry at their elected officials and skeptical that we in Congress can get anything done. But I believe this bipartisan budget conference offers us the opportunity to rebuild some trust, find a path to compromise, and work together to create jobs and boost our fragile economy.

“It won’t be easy. It will require both sides to step out of our comfort zones and ideological corners.   And we won’t be able to tackle every one of our nation’s challenges in these few short weeks. But I am hopeful we can at least show that bipartisanship is possible, that we can work together to solve some problems, and that we can break free from the gridlock and dysfunction that has dominated our nation’s capital for far too long.

“Seven months ago, the House and Senate debated and passed our budgets. The Senate Budget was built on three principles. First, our highest priority was investing in jobs, economic growth, and prosperity built from the middle out, not the top down. Second, the deficit has been cut in half—and our budget builds on the $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we’ve passed since 2011 to continue tackling this challenge fairly and responsibly. And third, our budget keeps the promises we’ve made to our seniors, families, and communities.

“The budget that passed the House reflects very different values and priorities—and finding a path to a long-term budget deal won’t be easy. But I want to spend our time here focused not on our differences, but on how we can work together to find a path to compromise. Because the American people saw the partisanship and intransigence that shut our government down and pushed our economy to the brink of catastrophe—and they are demanding that Democrats and Republicans work together, and do everything possible to avoid another crisis.

“Families across the country find ways to compromise every day. They do it in their homes—in their offices. They know it isn’t always easy— but that it’s the only way to make progress and work together when there isn’t absolute agreement on the path forward.

“So I agree with those who say the very least this conference should be able to do—the absolute minimum—is find a way to come together around replacing sequestration and setting a budget level for at least the short-term.

“This won’t be easy—the House and Senate budgets are very different even for just this year. But if both sides are willing to move out of their partisan corners and offer up some compromises, I am confident it can be done.

“So let’s start with something we do agree on.  Democrats and Republicans have said replacing sequestration should be a priority for this budget conference.

“With sequestration deepening for defense programs in January—and the extreme cuts continuing to cost us jobs and slash investments in our children’s schools, in cancer research, and in our nation’s law enforcement efforts— there is clear consensus that this is a terrible way to cut spending.

“So the question is no longer whether sequestration should be replaced—but how. 

“As every member of this conference committee knows, both the House budget and the Senate budget call for changes to the Budget Control Act— and replace sequestration, just in different ways.

“The House budget fully replaces the defense cuts,  lifts the BCA cap, and pays for that by cutting even more deeply from key domestic investments.

“While the Senate budget replaces all of the automatic cuts and pays for that with an equal mix of responsible spending cuts and revenue raised by closing wasteful tax loopholes that benefit the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations.

“So getting a bipartisan deal to replace sequestration is going to require compromise from both sides—there’s no way around it.

“I am going into this budget conference ready to agree to some tough spending cuts that, unlike the sequester caps that disappear in 2022, would be permanently locked into law.

“I know there are many Republicans who would be very interested in swapping some of the inefficient and damaging sequester cuts with structural changes to programs that would save many multiples of the cuts they replace over the coming decades.

“I am ready to listen to their ideas and, as long as they are fair for seniors and families—I’m ready to make some tough concessions to get a deal.

“But compromise runs both ways.  While we scour programs to find responsible savings, Republicans are also going to have to work with us to scour the bloated tax code— and close some wasteful tax loopholes and special interest subsidies. Because it is unfair—and unacceptable—to ask seniors and families to bear this burden alone.

“Many Republicans already agree that these loopholes and giveaways  distort the market and hurt growth, incentivize outsourcing and hiding profits overseas,  are nothing more than wasteful spending through the tax code,  and ought to be closed.

“So I am hopeful we can work together to get that done and get to a balanced deal.

“Sequestration is bad policy—and Democrats and Republicans have said it’s not sustainable—but it is going to continue to cost us jobs and cut vital services until we get a bipartisan deal to replace it that is fair for seniors and the middle class.

“I know it won’t be easy—compromise by definition requires each side to make some changes they wouldn’t make on their own. But I think we owe it to the American people to find a way to work together. And I know there are Democrats and Republicans—in this room and out—who agree.

“Because if there is one lesson to be learned from past few weeks, it’s this: the only way we can avoid gridlock and crisis—and the only way either side can get what they want— is through compromise and bipartisanship. 

“That’s what the American people are expecting from this conference. And I am looking forward to getting to work.”