Kind words and compromise are pretty rare in this Congress. But Tuesday saw an exception, with both major parties’ budget leaders reaching a deal on spending for the next two years.
That’s Democratic Sen. Patty Murray …
MURRAY: “Because of this deal, the budget process can now stop lurching from crisis to crisis … and it gives government agencies and the companies that do business with them the certainty they need.” (Via CNN)
And Paul Ryan from the Republican House.
RYAN: “This also shows that we can work together to get our government functioning at its very basic levels. … That we think gives us some confidence. That brings some normalcy back to our government.” (Via MSNBC)
Now, the last budget deal passed by a divided government — with one chamber ruled by Republicans and the other by Democrats — came in 1986. Pundits think this one has a chance of winning enough votes to pass, but it’ll have to happen quickly.
In the House, the budget will likely face its toughest challenge with a divided Republican caucus. Speaker John Boehner has also said Friday will be the House’s last day in session in 2014. (Via NBC)
The Senate will actually be in session through next week, so Democrats there have more time.
Now, this deal says nothing of extending benefits for the long-term unemployed, and with little time left for legislation this year, that likely means 1.2 million Americans will lose those benefits come Dec. 28.