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Bipartisan budget deal offers some relief from sequester cuts

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) announced a budget deal on Tuesday that curbs some of the impact of sequestration.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 approves a modest increase in spending levels for the current fiscal year. It also eliminates half of the sequester cuts, putting about $63 billion back into domestic and military programs through September 30, 2015.

“I’m proud of this agreement,” Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, said in a press release. “It reduces the deficit—without raising taxes. And it cuts spending in a smarter way. It’s a firm step in the right direction, and I ask all my colleagues in the House to support it.”

“This agreement breaks through the recent dysfunction to prevent another government shutdown and roll back sequestration’s cuts to defense and domestic investments in a balanced way,” added Murray, the chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee. “It’s a good step in the right direction that can hopefully rebuild some trust and serve as a foundation for continued bipartisan work.”

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service and other Indian programs already took a $500 million hit in sequester cuts, according to a policy paper from the National Congress of American Indians.

The budget deal, if enacted as described, should limit the damage in the coming two years. It offsets the sequester by providing savings and reducing waste in a number of federal programs, according to a summary of the deal.

Get the Story:
House, Senate negotiators reach budget deal (The Washington Post 12/11)
Capitol Leaders Agree to a Deal on the Budget (The New York Times 12/11)

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Mark Trahant: Congress on self-destructive course for budget (12/10)

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