Transcript: Press conference remarks by Sen. Patty Murray on the federal budget deal – Dec. 10, 2013

Partial transcript of press conference remarks by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington) on the House-Senate budget compromise on Dec. 10, 2013:

Well, for far too long here in Washington D.C., compromise has been considered a dirty word especially when it comes to the federal budget.

Over the past few years, we have lurched from crisis to crisis and from cliff to the next, and when one countdown clock was stopped it wasn’t too long before the next one got started.

That uncertainty was devastating to our fragile economic recovery. The constant crisis cost us billions of dollars in lost growth and jobs, and the continued across-the-board cuts from sequestration were forcing our families and communities to pay the price.

So I am very proud to stand here today with Chairman [Paul] Ryan to announce we have broken through the partisanship and the gridlock and reached a bipartisan budget compromise that will prevent a government shutdown in January.

Our deal puts jobs and economic growth first by rolling back sequestration’s harmful cuts to education and medical research and infrastructure investments and defense jobs for the next two years. Now, I know there are some people who thought these cuts should continue but I’m glad that we’ve increased these key domestic investments and that we averted the next round of scheduled cuts to military programs, bases, and defense jobs in our country.

This deal builds on the $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we have done since 2011 and continues the precedent we’ve set in the fiscal cliff deal that sequestration shouldn’t be replaced with spending cuts alone.

This bipartisan deal with help millions of Americans who are wondering if they’re going to keep paying the price for DC dysfunction, from the workers in our military bases and construction projects who were furloughed or laid off to the kids who lost their spot in Head Start programs to the seniors wondering if they’re going to have Meals-On-Wheels to the families who are praying for halted medical research programs to get back to work on a cure and so much more.

Because of this deal, the budget process can now stop lurching from crisis to crisis. By setting bipartisan spending levels for the next two years, this deal allows congressional committees to proceed under regular order and gives government agencies and the companies that do business with them the certainty they need to hire workers and make investments.

This isn’t the plan I would’ve written on my own. I’m pretty sure that Chairman Ryan wouldn’t have written it on his own. And there are obviously differences between our parties when it comes to our budget values and priorities.

I was disappointed that we weren’t able to close even a single corporate tax loophole. I know many Republicans had hoped this would be an opportunity to make some of the kind of changes to Medicare and Social Security they’ve advocated for.

But Congressman Ryan has set aside our differences. We have made some compromises, and we’ve worked together to get something done.

Now, this deal doesn’t solve every issue in front of Congress. We made a conscious decision as Chairman Ryan said in the few short weeks we have had to focus on where we can agree and not get bogged down on the larger issues that, while important, are not going to get solved right now.

But we need to acknowledge that our nation has serious long-term fiscal and economic challenges this deal doesn’t address and our budget process has been broken. Many people believe that Congress is broken. We have spent years scrambling to fix artificial crises while our debt piles up and the economic foundation middle-class families have depended on for generations continues to crumble.

We have budget deficits that have improved but they have not disappeared. And we have deficits in education and innovation and infrastructure that continue to widen.

We know we need comprehensive tax reform. We need comprehensive immigration reform. There is a lot more for Congress to do.

So this deal doesn’t solve all of our problems, but I think it is an important step in helping to heal some of the wounds 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 our government work for the people we represent.

So when all this is done, I’m very proud to stand with Chairman Ryan or anyone else who wants to work on this bipartisan foundation to continue addressing our nation’s challenges. Nothing is easy here but I know the American people expect nothing less.

I want to take a minute to especially thank Chairman Ryan. He and I do have some major differences. We cheer for a different football team – clearly. We catch different fish. We have some differences on policies. But we agree that our country needs some certainty and they need to show that we can work together, and I’ve been very proud to work with him.

I also want to thank Congressman [Chris] Van Hollen, who’s worked very hard to help make sure this deal reflects the values that he cares a lot about and all of our budget conference committee. Everyone who’s been involved on the committee has been hardworking with us to get to this deal.

So I’m hopeful now we can get this bipartisan deal through the House and then through the Senate and get home in time for the holidays that I think everybody deserves this year.


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2 Comments on “Transcript: Press conference remarks by Sen. Patty Murray on the federal budget deal – Dec. 10, 2013

  1. Pingback: Transcript: Press conference remarks by House Republican leaders on the federal budget compromise - Dec. 11, 2013 | What The Folly?!

  2. Pingback: List of 94 lawmakers who voted against the FY2014 budget compromise to avert a government shutdown in Jan. 2014 | What The Folly?!

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