It's premature to pop any corks, but what happened around 6:15 Tuesday night was something unseen in Washington for quite some time: Representative Paul Ryan, the House Republican budget boss, and Senator Patty Murray, his Democratic counterpart, walked to a dais in the Capitol and announced they had a deal on the budget.
- The budget for fiscal year 2014 is $1.012 trillion
- $85 billion in total savings over 10 years.
- $63 billion in sequester relief over two years, split evenly between defense and non-defense budgets.
- $23 billion in net deficit reduction over 10 years.
Ryan and Murray didn't quite look like old friends having a good time, and both were at pains to describe how the budget fell short of what they wanted. But they were in lockstep on message, with remarks aimed at convincing members of their own parties that while what they were getting wasn't a full loaf, it was definitely half a loaf. Or at least a few slices.
"I see this agreement as a step in the right direction," Ryan said. "In divided government, you don’t always get what you want."
"For far too long here in Washington, D.C., compromise has been considered a dirty word," Murray said. "This isn’t the plan I would have written on my own; I’m pretty sure Congressman Ryan wouldn’t have written it on his own."