Sen. Jay Rockefeller released this statement on the Murray-Ryan budget compromise:
“The budget deal announced last night represents a somewhat positive step for our country by partly mitigating the damage inflicted by the sequester’s painful and irrational cuts. The deal is far from perfect but such is the nature of compromise. Most disappointing is the House Republican’s resistance, which precluded the agreement from extending unemployment benefits for Americans who are currently jobless but diligently looking for work. This is a short-sighted and costly mistake, and one that will leave millions without any of the resources they need to support their families. And although the bill raises a modest level of new revenues through user fees that individuals will have to pay, we will not solve our long-term budget issues without significant new tax revenues from the wealthiest Americans.
“Importantly, this deal is an opportunity to reinstate important funding for programs vital to the well-being of thousands of West Virginia families such as Head Start, nutrition programs for our seniors including Meals on Wheels, and public safety programs like COPS which provide critical services that help secure our communities and make them stronger.
“By arbitrarily and severely cutting federal spending without any regard for its merit, the sequester has inflicted real damage to the fabric of our state and our nation. This deal reflects the fact that the majority of my colleagues in the Senate share my view that it is time to move on from the sequester, even if only one step at a time.”
As earlier reported on West Virginia Public Radio, the Murray-Ryan budget plan would fund government for two years, avoiding a possible shut down of government next month.
It restores more than $60 billion in sequester cuts, and outlines future cuts, over the next ten years, that would remove up to $23 billion from the federal deficit.