ABC POOL - AP CLIENTS ONLY
Washington - December 11, 2013
1. SOUNDBITE (English) Rep. Eric Cantor, (R) House Majority Leader:
"The deal is something that accomplishes deficit reduction... Permanent pension reform for government employees... And it doesn't raise taxes. It is consistent with republican efforts all along to try and replace the sequester with permanent savings that just make a lot more sense."
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Rep. Paul Ryan, (R) Wisconsin
"And by having a budget agreement that does not raise taxes... That does reduce the deficit... And produces some certainty and prevents government shutdowns.. We think is a good agreement. It's also an agreement that gives congress the power of the purse back. For three years we keep passing these continuing resolutions which basically is congress ceding its authority to the executive branch so they set the priorities. That is not right... That's not constitutional"
House Republicans signaled support Wednesday for a budget deal worked out a day earlier, a plan narrowly drawn but promoted as a way to stabilize Congress' erratic fiscal efforts, avert another government shutdown and mute some of the partisan rancor that has damaged Americans' attitudes about their lawmakers.
The agreement, among other things, seeks to restore $63 billion in automatic spending cuts affecting programs ranging from parks to the Pentagon.
The deal to ease those cuts for two years is aimed less at chipping away at the nation's $17 trillion national debt than it is at trying to help a dysfunctional Capitol stop lurching from crisis to crisis.
It would set the stage for action in January on a $1 trillion-plus spending bill for the budget year that began in October.
The measure unveiled by Ryan and Murray blends $85 billion in spending cuts and revenue from new and extended fees _ but no taxes or cuts to Medicare beneficiaries _ to replace a significant amount of the mandated cuts to agency budgets over the coming two years.
The package would raise the Transportation Security Administration fee on a typical nonstop, round-trip airline ticket from $5 to $10; require newly hired federal workers to contribute 1.3 percentage points more of their salaries toward their pensions; and trim cost-of-living adjustments to the pensions of military retirees under the age of 62.
Hospitals and other health care providers would have to absorb two additional years of a 2-percentage-point cut in their Medicare reimbursements.