• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
5m 38s

House passes bipartisan budget agreement

By Rebecca Kaplan / CBS News 2:49 PM December 12, 2013

The House passed a bipartisan budget deal negotiated by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Thursday afternoon before leaving Washington for the rest of the year. The bill now heads to the Senate.

The House passed a plan to set the federal budget for the next two years, sending it to the Senate and bringing the Congress one step closer to avoiding a repeat of the October 2013 shutdown.

The budget deal, brokered by House and Senate Budget Committee chairs, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., was announced earlier this week.

It will replace mandatory, across-the-board cuts from sequestration with a different set of spending cuts and non-tax revenue, including new fees on airline tickets. The agreement sets spending for the 2014 fiscal year at $1.012 trillion, including $63 billion of sequester relief and $85 billion of total savings. The result is about $23 billion in net deficit reduction.

Both Ryan and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, stressed to their colleagues that they thought the deal was far from perfect.

“It is not the budget agreement I or many of my colleagues would have written but I do believe on balance, at the margin, it represents a small but positive step forward,” Mr. Van Hollen said on the floor Thursday afternoon.

If it passes the Senate as well, Congress stands to return to a more normal process for the next two years instead of budgeting by emergency short-term measures every few months. But it also reopened deep rifts within the GOP that first appeared during the shutdown.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has spent the last two days laying into conservative groups who are warning members not to support the deal, especially after their role in crafting the failed Republican strategy to shut down the government in an attempt to defund the Affordable Care Act.

“They’ve lost all credibility,” he said.

“They pushed us into this fight to defund Obamacare and to shut down the government. Most of you know my members know that wasn’t exactly the strategy I had in mind,” Boehner said. “The day before the government reopened one of these groups stood and said, ‘well we never really thought it would work.’”

He threw his arms out and raised his voice for effect as he bellowed, “Are you kidding me?”

Boehner first lashed out at groups like Heritage Action and the Club for Growth in a press conference Wednesday after his conference met to discuss the budget deal.  The groups were quick to tell members that their votes – a ‘no’ for the deal, they urged – would be recorded on a legislative scorecard.

Ryan, long a darling of the conservative movement for his budget blueprints that slashed spending and reshaped entitlement programs, admitted to being surprised by the flurry of criticism.

“We were a little caught off-guard that they came out against the agreement before we even reached an agreement, and so, one would like to think you will get criticized after people know what it is you’re doing, not before they know what you’re doing. So that was a little frustrating,” he said on “CBS This Morning.”

Defending his agreement on the floor Thursday afternoon, Ryan offered a rare moment of candor about his party’s weakened bargaining position in Washington.

“Look I was part of the last presidential election. We tried defeating this president. I wish we would have,” Ryan said. “Elections have consequences, Mr. Speaker, and I believe…to really do what we think needs to be done, we’re going to have to win some elections.”

“And in the meantime, let’s try to make this divided government work. I think our constituents are expecting a little more from us,” he continued.

The top three GOP leaders – Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. – all came to the floor during the debate to voice their support for the deal and encourage their colleagues to vote “yes.”

“Is it perfect? Does it go far enough? No, not at all,” Boehner said. “I think its going to take a lot more work to get our arms around our debt and our deficit but this budget is a positive, positive step in that direction. It’s progress. Its doing what the American people expect us to do.”

In the end, the Republicans who didn’t support the bill didn’t flock to the floor to pan it during the debate.

The GOP infighting largely overshadowed House Democrats’ efforts to get an extension of emergency unemployment benefits in the bill. The benefits will run out on Dec. 28, and would have cost the government upwards of $25 billion to continue.

Democrat after Democrat implored their colleagues not to leave town without extending the benefits, though their pleas fell on deaf ears. The House leadership announced earlier in the afternoon that lawmakers would be able to go home after the vote, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the unemployment insurance would be the first issue the Senate takes up when it returns in January.

“It is unconscionable that the budget deal before us today does not extend unemployment insurance,” said House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md. Though he’ll support the agreement – it’s “better than the alternative,” he said – he spent most of his floor remarks talking about what the budget agreement doesn’t accomplish, including an increase in the debt ceiling (which will be necessary within  a few months), a permanent “doc fix,” legislation needed to amend Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors, or a full replacement of the sequester cuts.

Earlier in the day, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., gave it her blessing — albeit an unenthusiastic one – calling the bill “an OK thing to vote for.”

It’s still unclear how much Republican support the agreement will receive in the Senate, though opposition is growing by the day.  Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., doesn’t support it, as does much of the Republican leadership and the chamber’s more prominent Republicans like Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida.

When Ryan was asked on MSNBC about Rubio’s statement that the budget deal would make it harder to achieve the American dream, Ryan suggested Rubio “read the deal and get back to me.”

Latest Stories

  • News

    Crash shuts down Seward Hwy near Portage Glacier Road

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 27, 23:37

    The Seward Highway is completely closed in both directions at mile 76, according to an alert sent out by the Anchorage Police Department at around 11:30 p.m. Saturday. The location is just south Portage Glacier Road, near the Placer River. SEWARD HIGHWAY: APDAK: Seward Highway at mile 76 is shut down in both directions due […]

  • News

    Jet owned by Elvis sold for $430,000 at auction

    by Associated Press on May 27, 19:09

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – A private jet once owned by Elvis Presley has been auctioned after sitting on a runway in New Mexico for 35 years. GWS Auctions Inc. says the plane sold for $430,000 on Saturday at a California event featuring celebrity memorabilia. The auction house says Elvis designed the interior that has gold-tone […]

  • Politics

    Judge dismisses lawsuit against Clinton by Benghazi families

    by Associated Press on May 27, 19:02

    WASHINGTON (AP) – A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton filed by the parents of two Americans killed in the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington says the former secretary of state didn’t defame the parents when disputing allegations that she had lied. The […]

  • News

    Remains of Arkansas soldier killed in Colony Glacier plane crash returned home

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 27, 18:52

    An Arkansas National Guardsman who was killed in plane crash in Alaska 65 years ago has finally made it home. Staff Sgt. Robert Dale Van Fossen was laid to rest Saturday in Little Rock. Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson ordered flags lowered to half mast in Van Fossen’s honor. His remains were found among the wreckage of […]

  • News

    Historic planes head to Dutch Harbor to mark 75th anniversary of Aleutians battle

    by Dave Leval on May 27, 18:43

    John Pletcher’s invitation is too good to ignore — a chance for myself to get back in the sky for the first time in a while. It takes his JRF-5 Grumman Goose just seconds to take flight at Anchorage’s Merrill Field, then it’s off to Dutch Harbor, to take part in the 75th anniversary of […]

  • News

    NTSB investigating separate fatal crashes near Fairbanks, Haines

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 27, 14:46

    Last updated at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 27 Two people are confirmed dead and one is in critical condition following a fatal plane crash near the small Southeast Alaska community of Haines. Alaska State Troopers (AST) confirmed 29-year-old David Kunat of Juneau and an unnamed adult male passenger from California were killed in the crash. Chan Valentine, […]

  • News

    Feds to gain control over Kuskokwim king salmon management

    by Associated Press on May 27, 12:55

    BETHEL, Alaska (AP) – Starting next month, the management of king salmon on a southwestern Alaska river will transfer from state control to federal. KYUK-AM reports that as of June 12, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will begin to oversee the salmon living on lower and middle Kuskokwim River. Under federal law, the switch is […]

  • Lifestyle

    Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band dies at age 69

    by Associated Press on May 27, 11:53

    SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) – A publicist for rock legend Gregg Allman says the organist and singer for The Allman Brothers Band has died. He was 69. Ken Weinstein confirmed Saturday that Allman died at his home in Savannah, Georgia. Allman had cancelled some 2016 tour dates for health reasons. In March 2017, he canceled performances […]