On December 10, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced a joint plan for a two-year budget agreement structured to shed $23 billion from the country’s deficit in 2014.
The agreement is a shift from Ryan’s normal stance on a budget agreement, and what he wanted in it, as he was quoted as saying, “We’re in a divided government. I realize I’m not going to get that. So I’m not going to go a mile in the direction I wanted to go to, but I will take a few steps in the right direction. This agreement takes us in the right direction, from my perspective, for the very reasons I laid out before.”
The agreement announcement received some positive feedback from members of Congress and from President Barack Obama, while for some it appeared as just another way to prolong the inevitable tough decisions that need to be made.
The following is a list of some of the comments since the budget agreement was announced:
President Barack Obama: “Today’s bipartisan budget agreement is a good first step. This agreement replaces a portion of the across-the-board spending cuts known as ‘the sequester’ that have harmed students, seniors, and middle-class families and served as a mindless drag on our economy over the last year.”
Sen. Murray: "This bill doesn't solve all of our problems, but I think it's an important step in helping to heal some of the wounds here in Congress, to rebuild some trust, and show that we can do something without a crisis right around the corner and demonstrate the value in making the government work for the people we represent." – USA Today
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC): “Superficially, it looks like they kicked the can down the road on funding, and they’re creating new spending. Which I probably wouldn’t be supportive of.” – Politico.com
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio): “If you’re for more deficit reduction, you’re for this agreement.” – Associated Press
Senate Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas): “I’m not happy about busting the spending caps. Particularly, all along, I said that if that was going to happen, it would have to be for something really meaningful in terms of shoring up Social Security and Medicare. It looks like it will just increase fees, which is another way to increase spending.” – Politico.com
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.): “A breath of fresh air.” – Associated Press
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore) tweeted: "This plan won't create jobs, get the economy back on track, or meaningfully cut the deficit." – USA Today
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.): “I’m not going to subject my constituents to the pain of another government shutdown.” – Politico.com
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): "In the short run, this budget also cancels earlier spending reductions, instead of making some tough decisions about how to tackle our long-term fiscal challenges caused by runaway Washington spending." - CNN
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.): “The activities of this fall, which I did not support, obviously put us in a situation that weakened us, and we had some appropriators, I hate to say, who did not want to live within the budget constraints. … This is how our country has gotten into the situation we’re in today. There’s always, ‘Hey let’s make it easy on us now,’ but somebody down the road will deal with these issues.” – Politico.com
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD): "Looking at it on its own merits, I think the pros outweigh the cons." – Associated Press
Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.): “I think this is an agreement that ought to be supported. Because it gets us out of lurching from crisis to crisis, it saves more money over the 10-year budget window than current law does.” – Politico.com