Topic: Sen. Patty Murray
You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.
December 10, 2013 at 5:14 PM
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray says the budget deal she and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan announced Tuesday will “restore trust that had been lost by people across the country that we could function as a Congress and as a democracy.”
In an interview with The Seattle Times shortly after a news conference announcing the deal, Murray, the Senate’s Democratic budget chair, said while the deal is far from perfect, it will ease some of the effects of the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration and avert the threat of a government shutdown for the next two years.
The budget framework sketched by Murray and Ryan would relieve $63 billion in sequester cuts, avoiding a new round of reductions that were scheduled to hit defense and non-defense programs alike in January.
The agreement amounts to small measure of progress toward compromise in an ideologically divided Congress that has earned record-low public approval ratings. Murray had been involved in previous efforts, including co-chairing the 2011 “super committee” that failed to reach agreement on long term deficit reduction, and last year’s failure to halt automatic spending under sequestration.
While the Murray-Ryan deal would avoid a government shutdown, it did not address long-term deficit reduction or tax reforms. Murray said she’d insisted that closing corporate tax loopholes be part of the deal, but had to drop that to win agreement from Ryan. Democrats also dropped a late push to make extended unemployment benefits part of the deal. For his part, Ryan backed off of cuts he wanted to make to entitlement programs.
Murray said if Congress can take the baby step of passing this short-term agreement, it could lead to progress on those larger issues in the future — despite partisan differences.
“I think one of our goals is to reestablish the trust of the American people that a Congress that is governed by two parties can find a way to find compromise and put a bill forward,” Murray said. “If we can get this done… we’ll show a pathway.”
President Obama called Murray from Air Force One on his way home from the Nelson Mandela memorial service to congratulate her on the agreement, the senator’s spokesman said.
The sight of the political odd couple of Murray and Ryan jointly announcing the deal Tuesday seemed unlikely given the rancor of the past few years.
In Seattle last month, Murray said she believed Republicans would be motivated to avoid another government shutdown. But she questioned whether Ryan would be willing to compromise. “There is in my mind a curiosity about whether Paul Ryan can come to the table and be a negotiator or whether Paul Ryan is going to be the guy who wants to go to his caucus and say, ‘I can be as conservative as everybody else here,’ ” she said at the time.
But on Tuesday, Murray was singing Ryan’s praises. “The Paul Ryan that showed up was the adult in the room who knew that our country needed certainty,” she said.
Ryan already is facing blow back from conservative Republicans angry that the budget deal would increase overall discretionary spending for the next year to $1.012 trillion — higher than the proposed House budget level of $967 billion (but lower than the Senate budget proposal of $1.058 trillion).
In Washington state, some conservative groups were already mobilizing against the budget pact.
Nansen Malin, director of the state chapter of Americans For Prosperity released a statement urging the state congressional delegation to vote down the plan. “Washington State cannot afford another trillion-dollar backroom deal, and Americans for Properity activists will be letting our delegation know that a deal with yet more spending and more revenue is unacceptable,” she said.
But some Republican leaders have indicated a willingness to stiff-arm the GOP’s most-conservative wing and back the deal.
Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, R-Spokane, called the proposal “a step in the right direction on the path toward economic security for hardworking Americans” in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. “While this deal includes modest budgetary reforms, it is another positive sign that deficit reduction can be achieved by making real spending cuts and reforms without raising taxes.”
November 13, 2013 at 11:48 AM
WASHINGTON — It’s a picture he’s drawn many time before. But Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Doug Elmendorf painted it again Wednesday: The federal debt is growing at an unsustainable rate — but the paradoxical best short-term response is to cut taxes or boost spending.
That was the thrust of Elmendorf’s message to lawmakers at the second meeting of the budget conference committee. The 29-member bipartisan panel, co-chaired by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is attempting to hash out a compromise budget for the remainder of the 2014 fiscal year and beyond to avoid another government shutdown in January.
The nation’s long-term fiscal outlook, Elmendorf said, is dismal. The $12.2 trillion federal debt held by the public equals 73 percent of the country’s total economic output. In 25 years, the public debt will equal 100 percent of the gross domestic product, pushed up by higher interest rates and spending on Social Security, Medicare and subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, among others.
In addition, the federal government holds $4.9 trillion in intergovernment debt, money borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund and other sources.
Prompted by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Elmendorf said there are about three workers today for every Medicare beneficiary. But thanks to a wave of retiring Baby Boomers, the ratio will fall to 2 to 1 in two decades.
Given that, Graham asked, “how can we avoid entitlement reforms?” such as reducing inflation-adjusted increases for Social Security benefits or raising Medicare premiums for higher-income retirees.
At the same time, Elmendorf warned lawmakers that spending cuts, including the automatic budget reductions known as sequestration, has acted as “head wind” against a fragile economy. The cuts curtailed short-term demand for goods and services. The CBO projects 800,000 jobs will be lost to sequestration by end of 2014.
That has taken a huge toll on Americans, some harder than others. Elmendorf said the unemployment rate overall is 7.3 percent. But 12.5 percent of workers aged 20 to 24 are jobless; for blacks, the unemployment rate is above 13 percent.
November 28, 2012 at 7:07 AM
This will win back the female voters — not. The House Speaker has announced Committee Chairs for the 113th Congress and let’s just say it’s not very female-friendly. Huffington Post dubs it “The Man Show.” Washington Sen. Patty Murray, for one, tweeted her disappointment last night.
In a story Sunday in The Seattle Times, reporter Brian M. Rosenthal wrote about the declining number of women in the Washington Legislature in the session that begins in January. He was referring to the Legislature in general, not necessary leadership positions. In Washington’s case, some might argue the state had some distance to fall, because it was number one among the states in electing women lawmakers for 11 years.
Election trivia: Guess which statewide race in Washington ended up closest? The Secretary of State contest with Republican Kim Wyman, the only Republican elected statewide this time, winning by a mere 22,000 votes.
War on Christmas or something: And that means it’s time for the annual suggestion/accusation that somebody somewhere is waging a war on Christmas, Hanukkah or some holiday. The Spokesman-Review of Spokane has the latest on what decorations are planned for our very own Capitol grounds and surrounding area. There will be a nativity scene, and not too far away, a lighted Menorah, and maybe an atheist display of some sort. Read the post. All religious displays, save for a holiday tree in the Rotunda, are to be outside.
Jump the fiscal cliff: Sen. Murray has an idea for handling the vaunted fiscal cliff in Washington. D.C. She says jump. Or at least that is what she and several leading Democrats say may be the best way to win the kind of tax cuts and spending reductions her group favors. Murray is a big-time leader in Washington and it’s time we said that, again.
A new poll shows more than majority support for some of the tax decisions Murray is talking about. Murray, according to a press release, was planning to speak Wednesday in the Senate about middle-class tax cuts.
November 15, 2012 at 10:14 AM
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray Thursday declared her plan to seek the chairmanship of the Senate Budget Committee, a post that would move her closer to the looming debate about the nation’s long-term fiscal policy.
Murray hopes to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad of
Nebraska North Dakota. She now is the No. 2 Democrat on the panel, which is responsible for producing an annual blueprint for how much money the federal government should bring in and spend.
But Senate Democrats have not passed a regular budget since 2009 in part because of deep ideological differences with Republicans, particularly those in the House, about spending priorities.
Largely as a consequence, the federal government for the past two years has been operating on a series of stopgap spending bills.
Committee leadership decisions won’t be finalized until after Thanksgiving, but Murray is certain to get her wish.
In return, Murray will give up her chairmanship of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, though she will remain a member of the panel. She is expected to remain as chairwoman of two Senate subcommittees, one under the Appropriations Committee and the other in the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee.
September 20, 2012 at 6:10 PM
WASHINGTON – Patty Murray and her three fellow Senate Democratic leaders called a press conference Thursday afternoon to announce some major beef with Republicans — House Republicans to be specific.
Their complaint: a backlog of bipartisan Senate bills that have stalled in the other chamber. Among them the once-routine farm bill, the postal-service reform bill, the Violence Against Women Act and a China currency bill Democrats say would create 1.6 million jobs by stemming the flood of cheap imports.
That came after House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders held their own news conference, accusing Senate Democrats of “inaction on 40-plus jobs bills that we’ve sent there.”
The bickering highlighted a sense of morass on Capitol Hill. The expiration of Bush era-tax cuts looms, with no agreement in sight. The 10-year, $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts known as sequestration is slated to kick in Jan. 2. The two parties are far apart on how to avert it.
Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, the Democratic conference vice chair, predicted “mainstream” Republicans will more readily embrace bipartisanship after watching backlash against tea party conservatives in the elections.
“There have always been Republicans who want to work with us,” Schumer said. “But they have been outshouted” by tea party Republicans.
Murray was equally optimistic that the logjam will break after November. But that won’t happen, she said, unless Republicans drop their insistence on not raising taxes on anyone, including the rich. Democrats favor keeping the Bush tax cuts for only the middle class and the poor.
September 19, 2012 at 11:58 AM
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked Sen. Patty Murray’s $1 billion legislation to create a jobs corps for veterans, invoking a budget rule to kill what they contend is an unproven and unaffordable program.
The 58-40 vote to waive a procedural budget motion fell two votes short. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had already postponed the vote from last Friday, when Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said the bill violates the Budget Control Act.
Five Republicans sided with all 53 members of the Democratic caucus to override the GOP objection, but that was insufficient. Sixty votes were needed.
The Veterans Jobs Corp Act would have trained and employed veterans for jobs in forests, wildlife refuges, parks, cemeteries and other public lands. Murray proposed paying for the $1 billion tab over five years in part by collecting delinquent taxes from Medicare providers and suppliers and from individuals with more than $50,000 in unpaid taxes.
Speaking on the Senate floor before the vote, Murray said the GOP’s motion in effect told veterans the nation has spent enough money on them. The Washington Democrat, who chairs the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, said the bill incorporated many ideas from Republicans to improve its chance for passage.
In a statement, Murray denounced the Republican blockade:
“It’s both shocking and shameful that Republicans today chose to kill a bill to put America’s veterans back to work. At a time when one in four young veterans are unemployed, Republicans should have been able, for just this once, to put aside the politics of obstruction and to help these men and women provide for their families.
“But this vote is stark reminder that Senator McConnell and Senate Republicans are willing to do absolutely anything to fulfill the pledge he made nearly two years ago to defeat President Obama. It doesn’t matter who gets in their way or which Americans they have to sacrifice in that pursuit, even if it’s our nation’s veterans.
Congress is scheduled to adjourn this week until after the election. Murray’s spokesman said the bill is unlikely to be resurrected this year.
September 5, 2012 at 3:51 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray went “Seamus” on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during a speech to the Democratic National Convention Wednesday.
Murray referenced the tale of Romney’s long ago family vacation, when he strapped their dog, Seamus, in a carrier on top of a station wagon for a 12-hour drive. Though the dog was reportedly unharmed, that hasn’t stopped Democrats from mocking the story.
Attacking Romney’s plans to repeal health-care reform and alter Medicare, Murray said Republicans would “sell out our middle class” while preserving tax cuts for millionaires.
“Simply, with a Republican Congress sitting shotgun, Mitt Romney will put the middle class on the roof and take us for a long, painful ride,” Murray said.
Taking the stage to a partly full Time Warner Cable Arena Wednesday just after 3 p.m. Pacific time, Murray’s speech was loudly cheered by the Washington state delegation, sitting close to the stage.
She told of the struggles of her own family growing up. When her father, a World War II veteran, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and lost his job, they got by on veteran’s benefits for his health care and were on food stamps for a while as her mom worked to provide for the family’s seven children.
Without student loans and other help, Murray said she and her siblings “would never have had a shot at a college degree.”
Murray, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, urged the crowd to help retain the Democratic Party’s majority in the Senate as well as re-electing President Obama, “and we can make sure every American family has the opportunities mine did.”
September 5, 2012 at 8:35 AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal will get a moment in the national spotlight tonight, when he speaks right around prime time at the Democratic National Convention.
According to a schedule released by the DNC, Sinegal will be speaking at 9:50 p.m. Eastern (6:50 p.m. Pacific), just before Mass. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren. But a C-SPAN schedule has Sinegal listed for 10 p.m. (ET) sharp, which would be right at the beginning of prime-time TV network coverage.
Either way, it looks like Sinegal is being counted on for a vital messaging role, to help make the economic and business case for reelecting President Obama. He’ll be among the final speakers before the main event of the night – an address by former President Bill Clinton.
I’d expect Sinegal’s talk to push back against the Republicans’ “We Built It” refrain from their convention in Tampa last week, which portrayed Obama as dismissive of business owners’ role in their own success.
Speakers at the Democratic convention, including First Lady Michelle Obama, have unabashedly defended the government’s role in building a prosperous and equal-opportunity society.
Also speaking at the convention today is U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., whose talk is scheduled for about 6 p.m. Eastern (3 p.m. Pacific).
September 4, 2012 at 7:42 AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Democratic National Convention kicks off here Tuesday, and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., will be among the speakers who take the stage this week to make a case for re-electing President Obama.
Murray stopped by the Washington delegation’s 7 a.m. breakfast to offer a preview of what her Wednesday speech may sound like: part condemnation of Republican budget-cutting plans, part personal biography, and part full-throated defense of the federal government’s ability to help the middle class.
Murray said she’d watched “as much as I could stomach” of the GOP convention last week. “And I just kept thinking: What are they talking about?”
As Democrats have been eager to do throughout this election season, Murray reminded everyone of the economic devastation that Obama inherited from former President George W. Bush. She offered no specific policy agenda for an Obama second term, except to argue it would prevent the country from backsliding under GOP control.
“We are working our way back every day from the policies that those guys put in place. Who was it that sent us to two wars without paying for it? Who let Wall Street get away with murder? Who was the person who said debt doesn’t matter? And they want the keys back to the car? I say ‘no way’,” Murray said, drawing cheers from the Washington delegates.
Murray bashed Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan for his budget plan, saying it would choke important government services that her family and many others have relied on.
Murray said she’ll be talking about her own family’s struggles during her speech — scheduled for Wednesday around 6 p.m. Eastern (3 p.m. Pacific).
She recounted the story of her father, a World War II veteran who could not work after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. With seven kids in the family, Murray said, the federal government helped pull them through.
“How did we make it back? How am I standing here in front of you? Because we had a federal government who believed in student loans, and we had a federal government that made sure that my dad, who was a World War II veteran, had veterans’ benefits when when we needed it. Because my mom got job training. Those were investments in my family that made sure the middle class across this country had the opportunities they have today. That’s what we as Democrats believe in … not the Ryan budget that decimates that. We do not want that for this country.”
“So, yeah, this election is personal to me. It’s personal to me and my family and all of you and we have got to work our tails off ’til November.”
Democrats later today are expected to vote for a platform that focuses on fixing the economy, but also includes statements of support for abortion rights and same-sex marriage. You can read the platform here.
I’ll be reporting from Charlotte throughout the week. For additional updates, follow me on Twitter.
August 30, 2012 at 9:00 PM
Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray will speak at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., next week, her office said Thursday night.
Details were not immediately released. First elected to her seat in 1992, Murray has risen in influence and is now the fourth-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate. This year, she also is heading the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, charged with fighting to retain the party’s majority.
The only other announced Washington state speaker at the convention will be Costco co-founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal, who is expected to make the case for President Obama’s business and economic policies.
About this blog
Trending with readers