Paul Ryan and Patty Murray have rolled out their budget compromise agreement and begun the effort to sell it to their colleagues. Details are still sketchy but this is from their press release.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 would set overall discretionary spending for the current fiscal year at $1.012 trillion—about halfway between the Senate budget level of $1.058 trillion and the House budget level of $967 billion. The agreement would provide $63 billion in sequester relief over two years, split evenly between defense and non-defense programs. In fiscal year 2014, defense discretionary spending would be set at $520.5 billion, and non-defense discretionary spending would be set at $491.8 billion.
The sequester relief is fully offset by savings elsewhere in the budget. The agreement includes dozens of specific deficit-reduction provisions, with mandatory savings and non-tax revenue totaling approximately $85 billion. The agreement would reduce the deficit by between $20 and $23 billion.
Missing from the agreement: Any extension of unemployment insurance. Daily Kos:
Whatever happens, it appears that the Murray-Ryan deal as it now stands would increase spending by about $45 billion over sequester levels, but would nonetheless be $45 billion less than the Senate budget. That's a win for Dems, but not a complete win—and it leaves a very important priority out of the equation: extending emergency unemployment benefits.
Emergency unemployment benefits could still be extended as part of a separate deal, so if Dems don't draw a line in the sand on them as part of the budget deal, they'll still have an obligation to continue fighting for it—as will President Obama. They really should deal with unemployment benefits now, but if they don't, the fight doesn't end.
The White House was pointed about missing UI extensions too:
But, as I said last week, the defining challenge of our time is not whether Congress can pass a budget – it’s whether we can make sure our economy works for every working American. And while today’s agreement is a good first step, Congress has a lot more to do on that front. In the immediate term, Congress should extend unemployment insurance, so more than a million Americans looking for work don’t lose a vital economic lifeline right after Christmas, and our economy doesn’t take a hit. And beyond that, they should do more to expand broad-based growth and opportunity – by creating more jobs that pay better wages, by growing our economy, and by offering a path into the middle class for every American willing to work for it.
It's pathetic that an agreement to do very little other than impose more austerity on federal employees and the military is given all sorts of oohs and ahs as if it were something significant.