On Wednesday, December 18th, the Senate voted 64-36 to pass the bipartisan Senate bill (all Senate Democrats plus 9 Republicans). The strong bipartisan support for the legislation is a testament to the work of Budget Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), who were able to put aside their differences and strike a compromise that found common ground.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) explained:
Under the leadership of Chairman Murray the committee crafted a two-year bargain that charts a course for economic growth, maintains fiscal responsibility and – perhaps most importantly – averts another manufactured crisis that would undercut the economic progress of the last four years. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol to pass this agreement.
The deal is not everything that Democrats wanted. For example, we were unable to get Republican agreement to extend unemployment insurance benefits. But, here are some reasons why the bipartisan budget deal is still a good, modest step forward:
— It helps resolve the problem of lurching from crisis to crisis.
— It makes it far less likely that the government will be shut down in the future.
— It helps roll back damaging sequester cuts to education, medical research, infrastructure investments, and defense jobs.
— No cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits.
Read more details about the budget here.
The original post was updated at 4:57 pm on December 18, 2013 to reflect final passage of the budget.