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Ryan-Murray Budget Deal Easily Passes Senate; Obama Hails as a ‘Good First Step’

Paul Ryan flexes his political muscle as nine Republicans back his compromise in the upper chamber.

by
Bill Straub

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December 18, 2013 - 9:43 pm
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WASHINGTON – The Senate has passed and sent to President Obama a bipartisan two-year budget deal that increases federal spending slightly above previously agreed to levels and reduces retirement benefits for some military veterans.

Obama was expected to quickly sign the agreement that passed in a 64-36 vote with nine Republicans joining all of the chamber’s Democrats for a compromise package that drew some of its support from lawmakers hoping to avoid the specter of another governmental shutdown. The House adopted the measure 332-94 last week.

Republicans voting for the package were Sen. Saxby Chambliss, of Georgia, Sen. Susan Collins, of Maine, Sen. Orrin Hatch, of Utah, Sen. John Hoeven, of North Dakota, Sen. Johnny Isakson, of Georgia, Sen. Ron Johnson, of Wisconsin, Sen. John McCain, of Arizona, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska and Sen. Rob Portman, of Ohio.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, of Nevada, acknowledged that the modest proposal “isn’t a perfect bargain — no compromise is ever perfect.” But he maintained the new spending package is vastly superior to the plan it supplants – a process known as sequestration that implemented across-the-board federal spending cuts that proved particularly difficult for the military.

“The bargain rolls back the painful cuts of the sequester, including devastating cuts to education, medical research, infrastructure investments and defense jobs,” Reid said.

Obama, who supported the plan, said he was pleased with the outcome, asserting that the two-year budget plan “unwinds some of the damaging sequester cuts that have harmed students and seniors and acted as headwinds our businesses had to fight.”

“All told, it’s a good first step away from the shortsighted, crisis-driven decision-making that has only served to act as a drag on our economy,” Obama said. “It helps chart our economic course for the next two years, which means that the American people won’t be exposed to another painful and unwise government shutdown. But there is much more work to do to ensure our economy works for every working American.”

Under the plan cobbled together by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee, and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, spending during the current 2014 fiscal years increases from $967 billion to $1.012 trillion, with an additional increase to $1.014 trillion in 2015 without a direct tax increase. The spending increases, which particularly benefit defense programs, are offset by increasing the amount federal workers contribute to their retirement plans, adding a fee to airline tickets to help pay for security and the military retirement provision, which reduces cost-of-living increases for working-age military retirees, including those who retire early because of disability.

Starting Dec. 1, 2015, veterans under the age of 62 will see their cost-of-living adjustment changed from the rate of inflation to inflation minus one percent. Upon reaching 62, the one percent cut would be restored. The change will save $6 billion.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), among others, objected to the retirement provision, insisting it will harm military families, particularly those forced to retire early because of injuries contracted as a result of service. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, expressed concern about the change and said his panel will consider addressing the issue when lawmakers reconvene after the new year.

Ayotte characterized the provision “a deal breaker.”

“We could quickly find $6 billion that would not be taken from the backs of our men and women in uniform,” she said.

But McCain, who famously was held captive by North Vietnam forces after his jet was shot down in the late 1960s, asserted that the proposal was insignificant and that the Department of Defense had to find a way to get growing military retirement costs under control.

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Top Rated Comments   
Well there you go, Congressman Ryan. You have the appreciation of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi. Any wonder why the base of the Republican party trusts you not ONE WHIT? I mean, it's not bad enough that you presented us with yet another un-read massive DNC-approved (100%, actually) bill. No. That was disgusting enough. What really sucks is that you LIED to us about its contents. Yes. You lied to us. Double billing. Promises made to disabled Vets. All of it. And PLEASE do not even try to assure us that disabled veterans were protected under "your" plan -- either you did not read your own bill, or you hung vets out to dry? -- which is it, Congressman Ryan? -- you didn't read your own bill?

39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Paul Ryan flexes his political muscle. First, he lies to the House of Representatives about how the new budget deal will impact veterans. Second, Speaker BooHoo then rushes a vote in violation of his own 72 hours rule so that the member of the House will not have time to read the bill and figure out that Ryan and the establishment leadership is lying. Then Mr. Ryan scrubs his website to hide the lies that he told to get it passed. In the Senate, all but 9 members of his own party reject the measure and Harry Reid helps him to get it passed.

I assume by flexing his political muscle you mean doing what the Democrats want, when they want it, and with their eager support.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (14)
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unfortunately few will look down to see what's at the end of the road
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
my friend's sister-in-law makes $60 hourly on the computer. She has been out of work for ten months but last month her check was $13733 just working on the computer for a few hours. . .......:>
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39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
my roomate's mother makes $70/hour on the computer. She has been unemployed for 7 months but last month her pay check was $21609 just working on the computer for a few hours. see this.......
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39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Kabuki theatre 101, folks!!! Pay attention to We The Elite People of culture of corruption in all of Washington DC.
Anybody hear or read about US Bill “HB5337?” There, you’ll find a plan to nationalize retirement wealth, in all USA and its territories. See, on May 6, 2012 Lauren Schmitz, a research analyst at the Bernard L Schwartz Center for Economic Analyst (SCEPA), introduced HB5337.  This 401(k)/IRA de-privatization Bill, is the brainchild of Teresa Ghilarducci, who received funding from the White House and the Ford & Rockefeller Foundations for sole purposes of engineering a new “Regulatory & Tax Incentive.” Now, get this…The purpose of this legislation is to force every American to convert their Retirement Accounts into Government Managed accounts. Jeez! Just like Obamacare…”the collective” is alive and well, thank you.
If you knew the government was going to steal your savings from you, would you do anything differently to protect your savings now?  It’s an important question to think about, because they ARE coming for your money, and some newly-discovered facts prove it.
FACTS:
1)The U.S. Debt, not including unfunded liabilities, is over $17 trillion dollars. 
2) The Federal Reserve is currently buying 90% of the U.S. Treasury market and they are going insolvent! (who do you think the government will lean on to pick up the slack?) Can’t payback what they borrowed.
3) Ten thousand Baby Boomers will turn 65 years-old every day until 2030. 
4) Our country's IRAs, 401Ks and retirement accounts amount to that same exact number, Yep!… $17 trillion dollars. 
So here's the plan:  The government will nationalize retirement accounts like IRAs, 401Ks, pensions, 403Bs, etc. Each and every American will be forced to use a portion of their retirement wealth (per US Bill 5337) to purchase U.S. government debt – debt that will ultimately default!!! it’s just not possible to sustain our astronomical debt nor deficits that created it.
Still not convinced? Tried to apply lately, for a tax ID for single member LLC?
The IRS is refusing to issue tax ID numbers for single-member LLCs that are owned by an IRA. See, this is the specific structure U.S. taxpayers create in order to ship their retirement savings overseas. Of course, the IRS simply decided, using its sole discretion to stop allowing Americans to create this structure, and hence, force them to keep their retirement savings in the U.S.  Without getting into too much detail on these structures, bottom line is that the methods by which you could manage your own IRA and keep it out of the hands of the too-big-to-fail banks, and thus away from grabbing hands of government, are being blocked in an effort to keep all this wealth readily accessible to the US government.
Happy with your US House of Representatives? How’s that US Senate working for you, too? HUH?. See, this is “too Big To Fail” run totally amok! Folks, wake-up We The People are being played like fiddles at a 4-H hoe down. Pray. Amen. God Bless America and Individualism. Join a Tea Party.
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39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Congressman Ryan had me fooled. At one time, I actually thought he was a rising star who one day would be remembered as a patriot for trying to uphold the Constitution and protect Americans from tyranny. Now comes more spending, a promised IOU later, lets cut benefits to Veterans and plan for a massive assault on whatever U.S. citizen jobs remain through Amnesty. This is pretty sad to watch.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
my best friend's mother-in-law makes $60/hour on the internet. She has been unemployed for ten months but last month her pay was $18705 just working on the internet for a few hours. Check This Out,,,,
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39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
like Sharon implied I didn't know that anyone able to get paid $5192 in a few weeks on the internet. Web Site>>>>>>>>>>> http://ow.ly/qjkbU
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
This was done to clear the decks so Ryan can then work with Obama, Pelosi and Reid to pass amnesty. That is why Republicans are attacking their own conservative voters. This is battlespace preparation. The K-Street lobbyists are calling the shots, not the voters.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
“The American people are sick and tired of the constant crises we’ve seen here in D.C. over the past few years,” Murray said.

Murray got it partly right. We are sick and tired of seeing our congress critters manufacturing these crisis situations for their own personal aggrandizement. Filling their coffers by threat of voting one way or the other on laws effecting businesses so that said businesses feel obligated to donate huge sums to their PACs. Many times playing one business off against another. Never once giving thought as to how this new law might effect the poor little sheeple out here in never never land.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is there a good bullet point summary of what is wrong with this thing that someone can recommend?
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
It raises spending 62 billion over 2 years and promises to cut spending 23 billion over 10 years (if Congress never changes this deal in the future).

It's another Dems get more spending now and Repubs get promises of future cuts that are never realized agreement.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
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