See, you can read about it in black and white:
The House passed an 2-year bipartisan budget deal Thursday evening, possibly signaling a truce in the spending showdowns that have paralyzed Washington for the past three years.
Approval of the budget was the House’s final action of 2013. Earlier Thursday, lawmakers agreed unanimously to approve the National Defense Authorization Act, which sets military pay and policy, and to extend current agricultural policy after negotiators failed to complete a new Farm Bill….
The budget deal appeared to mark a significant shift by House Republicans away from the uncompromising confrontation of recent years fueled by tea party-aligned politicians and outside conservative advocacy groups. After multiple standoffs and threatened defaults and one actual shutdown, polls show that the Republican brand has been badly damaged among voters, and even some of the most conservative Republicans said they were ready for a breather.
If the Senate approves the budget bill next week, as expected, members of the House and Senate appropriations committees would then work over the holidays to prepare funding bills for individual government agencies, which are likely to be combined into a single omnibus bill. …
Doesn’t that sound almost like the way grownups would legislate? This is not being hailed as the long-sought “grand bargain” or anything, but it’s something remarkable anyway, given the material we’re working with here. Which is to say, the membership of the House.
Here’s a press release from Joe Wilson about it:
Wilson Statement on the Passage of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement
(Washington, DC) – Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) released the following statement after the House passed a bipartisan budget resolution. This legislation provides two years of budget certainty for the federal government. In years past, the federal government has operated under continuing resolutions.
“When I was elected to Congress, I promised to help make a difference. The status quo is not working,” Congressman Joe Wilson said. “Government overspending while racking up trillion-dollar deficits is irresponsible, especially when we know that our children and grandchildren will be faced with the burden.
“House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan was able to reduce spending from its current levels to help pay down our debt without raising taxes. For years, House Republicans have spent the better part of December in battles with Washington Democrats in hopes of not raising taxes so that the American people could keep more of their hard-earned paychecks.
“Additionally, President Obama’s sequester, which targets the military, has already limited our Armed Forces’ abilities to protect themselves and defend our freedoms. Military installations across South Carolina and the Savannah River Site have faced challenges, which undermine our national security. I have warned against the horrible impacts sequestration would impose and have done my best to advocate for those who are suffering within South Carolina’s Second Congressional District. I am very pleased that Chairman Ryan was successful in finding common-sense reforms to replace sequestration that will not place families at risk.
“The road ahead will be difficult as budget debates continue for years to come. However, we must remain hopeful that we can achieve spending reductions while promoting limited-government solutions that create jobs and spur economic growth.”
Yeah, I know — “President Obama’s sequester.” I didn’t say the partisans up there had stopped with the silly talk. But let’s focus on the action rather than the words here.
Meanwhile, Lindsey Graham says he will not vote for the deal when it reaches the Senate:
Graham to Oppose Budget Agreement
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said he would vote against the budget agreement when it comes to the Senate floor.
“After careful review of the agreement, I believe it will do disproportionate harm to our military retirees,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Our men and women in uniform have served admirably during some of our nation’s most troubling times. They deserve more from us in their retirement than this agreement provides.”
Graham noted the budget deal contains a one percent reduction in cost of living benefits for some military retirees. The provision could significantly impact military retiree benefits. For example:
· A 42-year old who retires as an enlisted E-7 could lose a minimum of $72,000.
· A 42-year old Lt. Colonel could lose a minimum of $109,000.
Source: Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)
“I support comprehensive, not piecemeal, pay and benefit reform to deal with rising military personnel costs,” said Graham.
“I truly appreciate Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray for their work trying to write a budget that provides relief to the Department of Defense,” concluded Graham. “But this agreement doesn’t do enough to protect those who have spent their lives protecting our nation.”
This is actually fairly consistent for Graham, who since the start has found the sequester appalling because of what it did to the military.
But isn’t it intriguing that in this moment when even Tea Party types are disciplining themselves to pass compromise legislation, trying to make up for the damage they’ve done to the GOP, Lindsey Graham is the guy standing up and saying, “No?”