‘Breathing room’ in Congress? Don’t hold your breath
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As a bipartisan budget compromise the House of Representatives passed last week works its way through the Senate, there are hopes the deal, which sets a funding level for the government through October 2015, could give lawmakers breathing room to work on a bigger deal.
At a news conference last week, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said the deal demonstrated lawmakers could work together “to get our government functioning at its very basic levels.”
So should we cue up a Congressional chorus?
“I would not take this deal to mean there is a sudden outbreak of ‘Kumbaya’ between Democrats and Republicans on the Hill,” says Mark Peterson, a professor of public policy and political science at UCLA. He says deep divisions didn’t disappear, and there is a lot left to do.
There is no new farm bill, and on the agenda are immigration and tax reform, says James Thurber, a government professor at American University.
“They’ve done nothing really about the debt ceiling or debt or deficit,” Thurber says.
But before lawmakers can tackle any of that, they actually have to budget. This deal is only a framework.
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