Democrat Budget Document: We Won on Ryan-Murray Budget Deal
Wednesday evening, as Senators finished voting on the so-called Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, better known as Ryan-Murray, the internal document Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) 7% used to sell the deal to her Democrat colleagues began landing in inboxes all around Washington. The document, entitled “The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 is a Good Deal for Families, Communities, and the Economy,” portrays the deal as a significant win for Democrats.
After details became public, Heritage Action suggested the deal was “a significant achievement for the president, who believes that government spending is a panacea to America’s economic woes.” Unfortunately, the contents of the Democrats’ internal document portray it as such.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 that came out of the budget conference is not everything Democrats would have done on their own, but it aligns with the values and priorities of the Senate Budget, rejects the harmful proposals from the House Budget, and lays a strong foundation for continued work to create jobs and boost the economy. (emphasis added)
The Heritage Foundation summarized the Senate budget as “a mix of higher taxes and higher spending, chronic deficits and debt, and a relentlessly growing federal government. Those who call this a ‘radically different’ vision from that of House Republicans certainly got that one right.”
To ensure the point was not lost on Democrat Senators, the memo doubles down:
In fact, this deal brings defense discretionary spending closer to the level set in both the Senate and House budgets, while bringing non-defense discretionary spending $77 billion above the House level and only $14 billion below the Senate level. (emphasis in original)
It also makes the point conservative policy priorities are non-existent, as Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid remain unreformed even though the “the conference agreement increases overall discretionary investments in fiscal years 2014 through 2018.” Meanwhile, the “majority of savings implemented later in the ten year window.”
While the deal ensures numerous big-government programs will remain protected during the upcoming appropriations cycle, Senate Democrats also believe it set the precedent for future spending increases:
This deal demonstrates that there is a majority coalition of Democrats and Republicans who want to replace sequestration, so the debate going forward will be about how, not whether, we should replace the remaining years of automatic cuts. (emphasis in original)
Democrats also believe the deal opened the door to future revenue increases:
This agreement would pull many Republicans out of their partisan corners to accept some new revenue for sequester relief and deficit reduction—and Democrats will continue to make the case for the revenue in upcoming deals to come from the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations.
Finally, the document destroys the media’s preferred narrative that it was either Ryan-Murray or a government shutdown:
Without the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, the alternative almost certainly would be a continuing resolution locking in funding at sequestration levels for the rest of the year. (emphasis added)
Instead of fighting to maintain current law, some members of Congress presented their colleagues and constituents with a false choice: increase spending or risk a partial government shutdown. As their internal document revealed, Democrats understood this was a false choice; the real choice was between current law and a $63 billion spending increase.