March 25, 2013

The Murray Budget Has Passed- Now What?

Early Saturday morning, the Senate passed the Murray Budget with a 50-49 vote. The budget raises almost $1 trillion in revenue and calls for higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Now, leaders in both parties have to begin the difficult task of reconciling the Murray Budget with the unfair and regressive Ryan Budget:

Negotiations between [Murray and Ryan] could begin in earnest in April, as soon as Congress returns from its traditional Easter break. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed Ryan’s budget plan Thursday without a single Democrat in support. The Democratic-run Senate signed off on Murray’s plan Saturday by a vote of 50-49.

Murray said she and Ryan have exchanged phone calls since their breakfast meeting and have come to appreciate each other’s roles. “We have a relationship that understands that we both have an important job on our side to get budgets out — and all the challenges that come with that,” she said.

In a briefing with reporters earlier this month, Ryan said he thinks the two sides have an incentive to work together.

“We’re going to have to talk to each other to get an agreement about how to delay a debt crisis,” he said.

Though it’s encouraging that both Murray and Ryan are eager to work together, the reality is that the two budgets present two vastly different priorities. While the Murray Budget promotes balance and progressivity in the tax code, the Ryan Budget continues to allow the wealthiest Americans and corporations to avoid paying their fair share and puts even more of a burden on the middle class. The compromise budget bill must include new revenue, and the next month will be critical in making sure our tax code is fair to working, middle-class Americans who need fairness the most.
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