The chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate budget committees discussed over breakfast this morning how they’re going to proceed in budget conference.
“We want to look for ways to find common ground, to get a budget agreement. Our goal is it good for the American people to get the debt under control, to do smart deficit reduction, and to do things that we think can grow the economy and get people back to work,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters.
“Those are our shared goals. We’re going to find — find how we can reach common ground and create a budget process that achieves that. And that’s what we’re beginning to talk about.”
“Chairman Ryan is exactly right,” chimed in Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.). “We had a good conversation over breakfast this morning as we begin the challenge that has been handed to us over the coming few short weeks. We believe there is common ground and showing the American people that Congress can work, and make sure that our economy is growing and that people are back to work. And that we can do the job that we were sent here to do, to find common ground between our two budget resolutions and set a path forward for Congress to work on.”
“Chairman Murray is very knowledgeable about these issues and a strong leader,” added Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). “I talked to a number of the Democrat senators last night. They were excited about being on the conference committee and look forward to participating. There’s a lot we can do. There are a number of things I know we can agree on, and I hope we could agree on. We don’t want to raise expectations above reality, but I think there’s some things we could do.”
“Paul Ryan, as most of you know, has dedicated himself for many years to mastering the details of this budget. So I think his leadership puts us in a position where we may be able to accomplish something good. I hope so. And certainly, the process is going to be helping,” Sessions added.
Ryan said the crux of the discussions will be “going back to regular order.”
“This is the budget process: The House passes a budget, the Senate passes a budget, you come together to reconcile the differences. That’s the way we’re supposed to do things. That’s the way the budget law is supposed to work. This is how the founders envisioned the Constitution working. And so we want to get back to that,” Ryan continued.
“We haven’t had a budget conference since 2009. And so we think it’s high time that we start talking together to reconcile our differences. And it’s premature to get into exactly how we’re gonna do that, because we’re just beginning these conversations.”
“Chairman Ryan knows I’m not gonna vote for his budget; I know that he’s not gonna vote for mine. We’re gonna find the two common — the common ground between our two budgets that we both can vote on, and that’s our goal,” Murray said.
“That’s what we’re gonna be discussing,” Ryan concluded. “And we’ll let you know.”