Senate Passes Budget Bill, in Break From Gridlock

The bill crafted by Paul Ryan and Patty Murray passed by a majority vote of 64-36

  • Share
  • Read Later

Correction appended: Dec. 18, 2013, 10:45 p.m. E.T.

The Senate gave final passage on Wednesday to a bipartisan budget deal that sets spending levels and prevents another government shutdown for the next two years, capping the most significant break from congressional gridlock that has consumed Washington in recent years.

The final vote was 64-36, with nine Republicans joining all the Democrats in supporting the measure, which the House passed last week by a vote of 332-94 and President Barack Obama is expected to sign into law.

The legislation, crafted in an agreement between Representative Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray, the top-ranking budget lawmakers in each party, sets top-line spending levels for the federal government for two years, leaving Congress to determine later exactly how all that money will be spent. It also replaces some of the automatic spending cuts mandated by so-called sequestration with more targeted cuts, and raises revenue through fees, but not higher taxes.

“This vote shows both parties — in both chambers — can find common ground,” Ryan said in a statement after the vote. “We can work together.”

Some conservative Republicans had opposed the measure because they say it sets spending levels too high, and some liberal Democrats voiced dissatisfaction with it because it fails to extend unemployment benefits that are expiring for more than a million Americans at the end of the year. But in the end, the impetus to avoid another shutdown — like the one in October that hurt the economy and sent Republicans’ poll numbers into a nosedive — was enough for lawmakers to cut a deal.

Still, some conservative Republicans remained critical of the bill after the vote. “It’s a huge step backwards,” Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “It’s a compromise toward not being really serious about our debt.”

While the deal is the clearest break from the partisan warfare of the past few years, it doesn’t rule out more brinkmanship altogether: Republicans continue to signal they will use the need to raise the government’s debt ceiling early next year as another chance to extract concessions on spending.

A previous headline on this article misstated Paul Ryan’s congressional title. He is a Representative, not a Senator.

5 comments
JohnRudolph
JohnRudolph

Dear "honorable" (yeah, right) Bob Goodlatte,


I have learned that you voted "yea" for the resolution, HJ 59, "Making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes" which includes cutting my military retirement.

You, along with your Republican sellout, Paul Ryan, have caved in to our enemies of the United States, the Democrat Liberals, who are calculating to dismantle ourarmed forces.

You do know what this means. I will never again support or vote for you. I will no longer be voting Republican or Democrat. 

Further, I am pressing this link enclosed, on to every single Virginia retired Veteran that I know, and will urge them to no longer support you. Pass this letter on to your other traitors who stand with you - names like Paul Ryan, John McCain, who also support to cut back on our retirement pay that was promised to us. Trust me, I am GOOD about getting the word out. By the time I'm done, you will potentially lose votes to nearly 660 Veterans in your constituency, and that doesn't include those in our voting district who also support retired Veterans.

I will not stop getting the word out.

Every time I have tried to communicate with you, all I get is a canned, impersonal response that was drafted up by some minion on your staff. This time, no replies are needed. I'm done supporting you, and can only hope that you are eventually replaced by another Representative who cares for retired Veterans.

We're the ones who answered the call of duty, to stand our watches 24/7, and you've effectively turned your backs on all of us. In effect, you have lied to all Veterans. Your promise no longer stands. I see you, and your Republican and Democrat cronies, as traitors of the state.

Pressing on with my campaign to make sure that you lose your seat in Congress. 

Respectfully,

John Rudolph

notsacredh
notsacredh

"While the deal is the clearest break from the partisan warfare of the past few years, it doesn’t rule out more brinkmanship altogether: Republicans continue to signal they will use the need to raise the government’s debt ceiling early next year as another chance to extract concessions on spending."

One step forward, two steps back. The need to show off the moose knuckle is driving the Tea Party to the edge of the cliff.

notsacredh
notsacredh

"Still, some conservative Republicans remained critical of the bill after the vote. “It’s a huge step backwards,” Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “It’s a compromise toward not being really serious about our debt.”

Rand does like to posture and caper in front of the base. I think he'd vote against his own budget if it meant that he got face time on tv.

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

Good!  That's done.  Next up?  Tax Reform.

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@sacredh

I see where our representatives recognize that we must do something about spending and the debt.  What I don't see from them is any effective solution.  They continue to hunker down in their political bunkers and lob accusatory rounds for the benefit of the press.  Meanwhile We the People continue to pay the price.

Team sports is a great example of how to accomplish a certain goal.  A team can do much more than the sum of its parts.  This applies to just about any endeavor be it sports, business or politics.

Our representatives need to work together toward the same goal they are pursuing.