As Republicans Rumble In Vegas, Speaker Ryan Announces Budget Deal

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Dec 16, 2015 10:20 AM
As Republicans Rumble In Vegas, Speaker Ryan Announces Budget Deal

As the Republicans rumbled in Las Vegas, Nevada during their fifth presidential debate hosted by CNN/ Salem Media Network, Speaker Paul Ryan announced that a budget agreement had been reached, though Democrats said it wasn’t final (via WaPo):

The sweeping agreement that came after weeks of bipartisan negotiations is the broadest tax and spending deal since the January 2013 “fiscal cliff” agreement, which prevented automatic spending cuts from taking effect and shielded middle-class workers from tax increases while allowing some increases on the wealthy.

Many House Republicans leaving Tuesday night’s meeting expressed general support for the deal.

“A lot of us feel like we didn’t get things we wanted, but we got some stuff that we did want, and I think that’s going to be true on both sides,” said Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), the retiring chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee, who said he plans to support the agreement. “In the end you have to weigh where we are. This is divided government, and if you’re going to move forward and follow Speaker Ryans’s notion that we want to move onto offense next year … then I think many of my colleagues will look at it like I do — that we need to move past this, get this done, let’s put 2015 behind us and get on to 2016.”

Ryan has committed to allowing members three days to review the agreement, setting up a potential Thursday vote in the House.

The tax discussions were closely linked with talks on the year-end appropriations bill as negotiators attempted to trade priorities across the two must-pass bills.

But House leaders are expected to have to rely on some procedural maneuvers to pass the package, by holding separate votes on the tax and spending parts of the deal. If both pass they would likely be rolled into one package for the Senate to consider later this week.

One bill is expected to contain the tax break package, which would permanently extend around 50 credits for businesses and individuals and delay several elements of the Affordable Care Act. The other will likely carry the $1.01 trillion omnibus appropriations package funding the government for the remainder of fiscal 2016.

As Politico added, this agreement “builds on” the one struck by outgoing Speaker John Boehner, and avoids a government shutdown, which was set to commence tomorrow evening. The publication added that a stopgap measure would be passed to give Congress more time to finalize the legislation.