WASHINGTON (21Alive) - Leaders with the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate reached a two-year budget deal on Tuesday night that averts another government shutdown.
House Budget Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced the compromise, saying there is support for the deal from both parties and both chambers..
"This agreement is a clear improvement on the status quo," Ryan says. "This agreement makes sure that we don't have a government shutdown scenario in January. It makes sure we don't have another government shutdown scenario in October. It makes sure we don't lurch from crisis to crisis."
The deal, which must be approved by the full House and Senate, would reduce the deficit by $23 billion without raising taxes, Ryan says. Murray adds the deal would rollback sequestration, education and medical research cuts over the next two years.
"We have broken through the partisanship and the gridlock," Murray says. "This is a bipartisan deal. We have both had to move to get to where we are today."
President Obama offered his support for the compromise, saying it will help many in the middle class continually burdened by economic downturn.
"This agreement replaces a portion of the across-the-board spending cuts known as 'the sequester' that have harmed students, seniors, and middle-class families and served as a mindless drag on our economy over the last year," the president said in a statement. "It's balanced, and includes targeted fee increases and spending cuts designed in a way that doesn't hurt our economy or break the ironclad promises we've made to our seniors."
U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., distanced himself from the compromise, suggesting the budget should remain at 2011 spending levels or new levels with targeted spending reforms.
"I am concerned that this deal may be another missed opportunity by Congress to make the tough choices needed that will secure our long-term fiscal future," Coats said in a statement.
The budget reached would set spending levels about $967 billion caps set by sequestration.
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