Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), an influential member of Democratic leadership, endorsed the Iran nuclear deal Tuesday in a lengthy statement that voiced some doubts of the plan's efficacy but gave a strong overall backing for the outline. Murray became the 29th Democrat in the Senate to back the plan, with only two Democrats declared in opposition, putting the White House on the cusp of ensuring President Obama can fully implement the pact lifting sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear development.
A bipartisan budget agreement now appears to have sufficient support to survive a key procedural test vote in the U.S. Senate later this week. Final passage of the bill with a simple majority of senators doesn’t appear in doubt — but the legislation written by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) must first clear a procedural hurdle to end formal debate on the measure and move to final passage.
Bars set this low were made to be jumped over. And yet, it was something of a marvel on Tuesday when lawmakers from the House and the Senate took to the microphones to announce that they had reached a budget deal. The deal, which was negotiated over the past few weeks by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.), would set spending for the next fiscal year at $1.012 trillion and increase it to $1.014 trillion the year after that. Should their budget framework actually pass through Congress, it would represent an increase in federal spending by $45 billion in one year and $63 billion over the course of two years.
In a major breakthrough after three years of paralyzing partisan rifts, Congress' top two budget chiefs finalized a bipartisan agreement Tuesday that would set spending levels for two years and mitigate some of the painful spending cuts required by the sequester. The deal announced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) would raise establish spending at $1.012 trillion in 2014 and $1.014 in 2015 -- up from the $967 billion required by the across-the-board sequester cuts. It provides for about $63 billion in sequester relief, divided equally among defense and non-defense programs.
Paul Ryan killed any lingering hopes of a grand bargain within moments of the budget conference kickoff on Wednesday. In his opening remarks, the Wisconsin congressman and chairman of the House budget committee laid down a firm marker against new taxes, which are essential to any major deficit reduction proposal that can pass Congress and be signed into law.
Veterans Affairs kept under microscope by senator from Washington.
Congress has created a special super committee to devise a way to cut at least $1.2 trillion from US spending in coming years. Its real name is the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, and its deadline is Nov. 23. Here are the 12 lawmakers serving on the super committee.