News Releases

Murray Blasts House Republicans for Reneging on Bipartisan Budget Deal, Threatening Government Shutdown

Mar 20 2012

"House Republicans have shown that a deal with them isn't worth the paper it's printed on"

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled the Republican budget, which cuts spending on programs middle class families rely on below the level Speaker Boehner and House Republicans agreed to in the bipartisan Budget Control Act last year.

“This is outrageous and deeply disappointing. By desperately attempting to appease their extreme conservative base, House Republicans are reneging on a deal their own Speaker shook on less than eight months ago. They have shown that a deal with them isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on and they are threatening families across America yet again with the prospect of a government shutdown.

“The purpose of the bipartisan Budget Control Act was to move toward serious deficit reduction and provide some consistency to the federal budget so the American people wouldn’t be threatened with a government shutdown every few months. It was just one step, but it was an important one.

“If Republicans were serious about debt and deficit reduction they would work with us to protect middle class families, invest in jobs and economic growth, and make sure the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations were paying their fair share. But this budget shows that they are more concerned with appeasing their extreme base than actually working with us to reduce the deficit.

“I urge the House to reject this partisan budget that breaks the bipartisan deal, and work with us to tackle the deficit and debt in a way that doesn’t fall solely on the backs of seniors and the middle class.”


BACKGROUND: Republicans Agree with Democrats: A Deal’s a Deal


“We voted for it. That’s the number we should use,” said Representative Charles Bass, Republican of New Hampshire. NY Times 3/13/12

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) has said he remains personally committed to the August agreement, which was signed off by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Obama after painful negotiations. Politico 3/8/12

"I think that the $1.047 trillion number that was the crux of the bill last year is the right number," House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, R.-Ky., said…."We made a deal at $1.047 trillion and my view is it should be $1.047 trillion," said Rep. Steve LaTourette, R.-Ohio. "You're looking at, in some of these appropriations, a 50 percent cut over two years. I don't see how you write bills." Associated Press 3/7/12

A GOP aide said the conservatives pushing for symbolic cuts now “aren’t thinking long-term. “This shouldn’t be about a quick press release,” the aide added, “but about the political implications down the road of breaking the BCA.” National Journal 3/8/12

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that he is “uncomfortable” with cutting discretionary spending below the $1.047 trillion level set in the August deal.   He said the three appropriators who sit on the Budget Committee are fighting to maintain that level, which Rogers deems “reasonable.” The Hill 3/7/12

“If you’ve got a group of people that are going to vote ‘no’ no matter what because any money is too much money, then you’re going to need Democratic support, and that means the number has to go — guess what? — up to [$1.047 trillion],” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a member of both the Budget and Appropriations committees…We all know that once it gets down to negotiations with the Senate, it will be done within that framework,” he said. “If the Budget Control Act says [$1.047 trillion], that’s where you’re going to be. Do you really want to structure something that you know you’re not going to hit that number, pass it, and then at the end of the day look like you caved in the fall by going up to [$1.047 trillion]?”Roll Call 3/1/12

Breaking that agreement would risk making Republicans appear intransigent to voters, said Steve Bell, a former Republican budget aide. “The speaker of the House, the minority leader of the Senate and the majority leader of the Senate made a deal before God and everybody else,” said Bell. “We are giving our adversaries weapons.” Businessweek 3/19/12