Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., announced last week that they had reached a two-year budget agreement, which then passed in the House of Congress Thursday with a vote of 332-94. On Tuesday, the budget deal passed its last major hurdle as the Senate voted to advance the bipartisan deal.
The budget deal would make some alterations to the sequester, which automatically cut discretionary spending from both defense and non-defense budgets. The budget deal doesn’t really impact entitlement programs, such as funds paid through the Social Security and Medicare program. At the same time, the deal accomplishes the slight budgetary increases without raising taxes.
With Senate passage all but assured, the deal will avert another government shutdown in January. President Barack Obama has vowed to sign the budget deal into law if it reaches his desk, according to U.S. News.
Many see the deal as a welcome compromise between a sharply divided Congress, viewing it as a small step in the right direction.
Not everyone is happy with the deal, though.
Executive director Kris Perry of the First Five Years Fund acknowledged in a press release that the new budget deal would undo some of the harmful cuts to education brought on by sequestration, however, 57,000 young children lost the opportunity to join Head Start programs because of those cuts.
“Like many, we are pleased to see compromise reached on Capitol Hill. We appreciate the careful thinking and efforts that went into the agreement. But, it is impossible to ignore the facts — this deal does little to improve the long-term economic standing of the United States,” Perry wrote.
Most of the vocal critics of the deal have been conservative groups and leaders. According to The Washington Post, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., believes the budget allows for reckless spending.
Sam Clemence is an intern for Deseret News where he works with the opinion section staff and as a reporter for the enterprise team.