Democrats Cautiously Pleased With Budget Compromise

Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 10:21 PM

By Cathy Burke

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There was cautious praise from Democrats Tuesday for a two-year budget deal that fell short of what many had hoped would be included in the agreement, including jobless benefits and more sequestration relief.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she looks forward to discussing the deal with the Democratic caucus.

"Any budget agreement must ensure that we create jobs, grow the economy, strengthen the middle class, and reduce the deficit in a balanced and responsible way," she said in a statement, CNN reported.

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee, knows she’ll catch heat from progressive lawmakers who wanted jobless benefits to end up in the final deal, Talk Radio News Service reported.

But, she said the plan should appeal to Democrats who want to ensure more economic certainty for their constituents.

“This deal doesn’t solve all of our problems,” Murray said. “But…it’s an important step to rebuild trust.”

The Washington Post reported the deal denies both Republicans and Democrats what they want most. Republicans didn't get any changes to Medicare and Social Security, Democrats didn't get any new taxes.

The Post also noted Democrats got "beat" on sequestration, with Republicans keeping, and increasing, the deficit reduction without ever giving up a dime in taxes.

Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said he can't say whether House Democrats will be on board.

"We're still feeling our way through this," the National Journal reported him as saying.

"Some of the components may be a hard sell for House Republicans. So, we need to find out where they are, and where we are."

Still, with conservative Republicans more pessimistic about the budget deal, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said there's a "positive feeling" about the deal in the Democratic caucus.

Murray herself, however, expressed disappointment that “we weren’t able to close a single corporate tax loophole.”

She also acknowledges that Republicans were hoping to use the budget deal to make changes to Medicare and Social Security.

But she emphasized this is an important next step, Roll Call reported.

“We need to acknowledge that our nation has serious long-term fiscal and economic challenges this bill doesn’t address and our process has been broken.”

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