What Gridlock? House Passes Bipartisan Budget Bill
WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) – The House has given sweeping bipartisan approval to a budget bill backed by both President Barack Obama, his Democratic allies and a big majority of the chamber’s Republicans.
The 332-94 vote sends the measure to the Senate, where Republicans are more skeptical. But the Democratic-led chamber appears sure to adopt the measure next week and send it to Obama for his signature.
The package was drafted by a congressional odd couple of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray. The Wisconsin Republican and Washington Democrat found enough compromise to ease the harshest effects of another round of automatic spending cuts set to hit the Pentagon and domestic agencies next month.
As CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer reported, the deal prevents a replay of October’s costly partial government shutdown and represents what would be the first bipartisan budget accord to come out of Congress since 1986.
“This budget agreement takes giant steps in the right direction,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
It’s not that House Republicans love the compromise budget bill hammered out by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), but they know the American public is fed up with the dysfunction in Washington. Some deal is better than no deal, they reason.
Ryan and Murray faced a Friday deadline.
The two-year budget deal would cut the deficit by $23 billion, prevent more reductions to the military budget, raise money from higher airline fees and curbs the pension benefits of new federal workers. It would not, however, extend unemployment payment for about one million Americans.
“We’re very unhappy about it,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “But not enough to say … we’re going to make matters worse by not having an agreement.”
Ultra-conservatives are unhappy with the agreement because it doesn’t cut enough federal spending. But in a rare attack on the Tea Party groups that have opposed the measure, Boeher said the outside groups urging a “no” vote have lost credibility with him, the same groups that pushed for the government shutdown over President Barack Obama’s health care law
“The day before the government reopened, one of the people at one of these groups stood up and said, ‘Well, we never really thought it would work.’” Boehner said. “Are you kidding me!”
The bill still must clear the Senate before Obama can sign it into law.
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