Lukewarm Bipartisan Budget Bill Nears Approval
In a departure from recent years, Congress seems on the verge of presenting President Obama with a budget intended to put a stop to the succession of fiscal crises and threats of government shutdown. The bipartisan budget, which is set to pass the Senate on Wednesday, will roll back half ($45 billion) of the automatic cuts set to take effect in 2014. Additionally, funds will be reinstalled to the 2015 budget to a level designed to freeze spending levels.
The budget bill has already cleared the House of Representatives, but still needs Senate approval and the President’s signature before it becomes official. During these rancorous times, the process of arriving at a budgetary consensus has been especially problematical. However, even more troubling to politicians is a growing feeling by Americans that their government is no longer working.
“We had to look at how we could find compromises,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., who had a large role in negotiating the budget bill with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
One point of contention was a provision added by Ryan that reduced automatic inflation increases for military retirees under the age of 62. Although the change would raise $6 billion over the first 10 years, the idea rankled Democrats, who promised to revisit the topic before it takes effect in two years. (Derek Dowell – VNN) (Image: Flickr | DonkeyHotey)