On December 10th, 2013, it was announced that negotiators had come up with a solution that should solve the budget crisis and the argument over government spending. After years of heavy debate and a flurry of strong-willed government officials, Patty Murray and Paul Ryan from the U.S Senate finally came to a compromise that they believe will end the struggles that have plagued the House for what seems like an eternity.
The two led a negotiation that created a bill, which, if passed by Congress, could lead to approval from both sides. No deal is perfect, and there is likely to be a decent amount of time in debate spent, but they believe that it gives both parties what they want. Each party held strong requirements that were essentially polar opposites: Republicans wanted to cut government spending and focus on debt reduction, while Democrats wanted more discretionary spending, believing that it would help stimulate the economy and therefore reduce the deficit. It was also understood that Democrats wanted to raise tax revenues, while Republicans rejected tax rises across the board.
If they can’t reach a decision, it is ikely the government will again shut down in January. However, the mediation of this bill makes it less likely they will have to do so, considering that they actually have a bill to discuss. To shorten what is a very complicated and confusing bill, the new proposal reduces the deficit by lowering the sequester and shifts funds into mandatory discretionary government spending, creating a resolution that could satisfy both sides of the negotiation.
Many experts have already taken to criticizing the proposal, saying that it’s nothing but a tweak when we need a fix. But many are just happy that there is one, simply because it makes the prospect of government shut down in January is now considered unlikely. It’s predicted that most Republicans will vote in favor of the bill, while a select few Democrats will vote against it. However, it’s estimated that in their haste to ensure the embarrassment that took place back in early October won’t happen again, there won’t be enough votes against the bill to keep it from being signed in.
Still, those who scrutinize the proposal aren’t unjustified in doing so. It fails to mention anything on a long term basis, such as Medicare or Medicaid, Social Security or unemployment insurance—a deal which comes with heated debate, and expires at the end of the year. Even the debt ceiling was left out of the proposal. So, while many are happy at this new step in the right direction, many are worried that in just a few short months, we’ll once again be facing the grim reality that nothing has been made permanent in the growing bureaucracy. Go here to read more about the out of control government.