Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 23, 2014

Paul Ryan Wants Budget Conference (Updated)

Ryan041213 445x304 Paul Ryan Wants Budget Conference (Updated)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:42 p.m. | House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters Thursday morning that he intends to go to conference on the budget, signaling the end to one of the year’s greatest impasses between the two parties and chambers.

“We’re gonna start negotiations,” Ryan said. “I intend to go to conference.

“I think when Leader Pelosi said that they would remove all the motions to instruct, that was a good-faith effort to get serious negotiations going,” he continued. “We intend to go to conference on that. As you know, a budget resolution is not sufficient to do all that we need to do, but it’s a step in the right direction.”

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., flanked by other members of Democratic leadership, announced Oct. 5 that her party was prepared to forfeit its right to offer “motions to instruct” should Republicans name conferees to merge the House and Senate budgets. That removed the threat of forcing Republicans having to take numerous politically difficult but nonbinding votes.

Speaker John A. Boehner made mention of a budget conference as part of an overall offer to President Barack Obama that would extend the debt ceiling for six weeks but not reopen the government.

“What we’re going to do is offer the president the ability to move a temporary increase in the debt ceiling [and] an agreement to go to conference on the budget for his willingness to sit down and discuss with us a way forward to reopen the government and start to deal with America’s pressing problems,” the Ohio Republican said.

Senate Democrats have held the position that both the debt ceiling and the current government shutdown must be addressed before moving into broader negotiations on the top-line spending levels for fiscal 2014 and other budgetary changes.

“We think the only way out of this cycle of constant crises is for the two sides to work together, make some compromises, and get to a fair and responsible long term deal,” Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray said Wednesday. “But it just doesn’t make sense to do that while families and communities are being hurt by this government shutdown and while the threat of a default hangs over our head.”

The Washington Democrat made the comments on the Senate floor while making yet another request for a budget conference committee upon action to avert a default and get the government funded.

“We will sit down and negotiate over anything Republicans want, and we pledge to work as hard as we can, for as long as it takes until we get a fair long-term budget deal to end these constant crises. But first, this current crisis needs to end and the threat of the next one needs to be lifted,” Murray said. “Republicans don’t need a hostage, there are plenty of things Democrats want out of a long term deal that we are very interested in making some compromises for.”

Update 3:42 p.m.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt raised another issue with the idea: the calendar.

Blunt, a member of the Senate Republican leadership as well as an appropriator, said he thought the time had already passed for a fiscal 2014 budget resolution.

“Paul Ryan’s the Budget chairman, so … he would have his own view of this. My view of it is we’re beyond the time when a budget resolution does any good,” Blunt said. “The reason for a budget resolution is to have guidelines and points of order when you should be passing the appropriations bills in a normal way.”

“We’re so far beyond that, that I’d have a hard time seeing why that … moves this discussion much,” Blunt added.

House and Senate appropriators would need an agreed on budget allocation to complete work on fiscal 2014 spending bills. While a budget resolution would provide that number, it would not be unusual for the two chambers to “deem” a budget figure.

  • Zach

    About time, since Democrats have been asking for that since the Senate passed its budget in March.

    • SandyLester

      The senate has NOT passed a budget, if they had there would be no need for a CR.

      • Zach

        Oh, boy, you don’t know how the budget process works, do you? Here, let me explain:

        The House passed its budget early this year. The Senate passed its version in March. Since the two are different, the chambers are supposed to go to conference to come up with one budget both of them vote on. Republicans have refused to do this since March – hence why we need to pass a CR instead.

        So yes, the Senate HAS passed a budget. Hope this clears things up for you.

        • SandyLester

          I know the process and you are dreaming

          • Zach

            And yet you refuse to explain why my previous response isn’t correct. This is telling – it tells me you can’t. (I know this – you guys often try to change the subject after presented with facts, so don’t bother denying it.)

            I’m just glad I could educate you a little on what’s going on. Keep this tidbit in mind when the GOP says they want to negotiate.

          • ID-2

            If Dems were not so hellbent on raising taxes perhaps a conference would be possible. But considering the language that has emanated from the WH and Senate no wonder the GOP does not want to go to conference. Ultimately, it is a big waste of time.

          • Zach

            By the same logic, Republicans are so hell-bent on NOT raising taxes, despite supposedly caring about cutting the deficit. Their position is not only more uncompromising, it’s also fiscally irresponsible.

            But then, that’s why you have negotiations. People come in with two different positions and compromise to get to a middle ground. At least, that’s how adults do it in the real world. Not sure the GOP has figured out that they’re going to have to give in addition to take.

          • ID-2

            Speaking of adults, you must think it is really grown up for Harry Reid to attack a reporter who asks him about funding children’s cancer research and the President using every press conference to attack Republicans. I know I would be gung-ho to talk to people like that who regard me so highly. BTW, if you think we have a revenue problem in this country you are full of it. But even if you do not, you should be all for tax reform so the government can limit its tax expenditures with a streamlined code.

          • Zach

            What really upsets me is how you guys continue to take that comment from Reid out of context. As far as Obama or Reid going after the GOP, I’m glad they are – Americans should know who’s to blame and I’m glad Obama is using the bully pulpit to make it clear. I certainly don’t hear you complaining about the GOP trying to pin this on Democrats.

            As far as a revenue problem, we do have one – corporate tax revenue, as a share of GDP, has dropped significantly over the past several years.

            http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=205

          • ID-2

            You are glad the Prez is not taking hostages but you hate that the GOP is doing the same. Hmm.

            Like I said. Tax reform!!!

          • Zach

            Ah, but the President isn’t taking hostages. He wasn’t the one who threatened to shut down the government unless Obamacare was defunded. The fact that the GOP thought the strategy could work shows how ridiculous and unserious they are. I mean, Obama defund Obamacare? This is the definition of insanity. If you were President and we were talking about your law, would you? Because if you would, you have no business being President.

            The fact is, Obama has no reason to negotiate on this. The law survived a freakin’ election. If he negotiates on this, then it’s all over – every President from here on out will get screwed over by a minority that can’t pass what it wants through the democratic (small-d) process. That’s no way to run a superpower.

          • ID-2

            Note the President refused to even negotiate on the law or budget. You know some Presidents might fix the bad parts of the law. This one not so much. Yep, negotiating to fix bad laws would be such a bad precedent. As for the election comment you do understand our single national wlection is not based on one issue right?

          • Zach

            I think he’s been pretty clear he’ll negotiate on whatever the GOP wants if they let the hostage go. That includes fixing stuff that’s bad with the law. But when one party is busy holding 40-odd repeal votes that were all set up to fail, it’s hard to see how they’re interested in making fixes.

            As far as the election, health care was no minor issue. And there was a clear choice between the parties. And the party that wanted to keep it, by and large, won. If Americans hated it so much, they had a chance to get rid of it. They didn’t. Live with it.

          • Jeff P

            Including fixing stuff that is bad with the law? You’re kidding right? Mom says it’s time for dinner and come up from the basement and set the table.

          • Jeff P

            Zach you need to climb out of that Taliban cave you live in and meet reality.

          • Jeff P

            FairTax Act now! Abolish the IRS and save this country.

          • Jeff P

            A tax on corporations is a tax on the people. Corporations do not truly pay taxes sunshine. The cost is passed on to the consuming masses. Geesh! Government educated?

          • God Bless America

            He did not attack the reporter. Check out your facts.

      • God Bless America

        Sandy, Zach is telling it exactly as it is. Please educate yourself. Facts still mean something to most people.

        • Jeff P

          God Bless America? Oh the ironic hate in your usename!

  • EWS

    No more hostages Mr. Ryan. Step in the right direction but no conference until govt open and debt ceiling extended. You get regular order sir and nothing more!!

    • SandyLester

      Debit payments are $20 billion, revenues $280 billion per month, we do NOT need an increase………good lord we have the money now.

      • Jeff P

        Well said Sandy. The leftists want to confuse their gullible masses.

    • Jeff P

      Mr. Ryan is speaking for the people. Keep it closed until Obummercare is kaput and we have eliminated wasteful government employees and other spending. Never raise the debt ceiling. We have enough already. Time to live within our means.

      • EWS

        You mean he is speaking to the 24% who approve of this BS. The other 66% want your party out of the governing business. Obamacare is here to stay. Take a xanax and get over it.

  • Layla

    Is this going to be before or after the Democrats get through pushing an amnesty bill?

    • dectra

      No layla….it’s after you teabaggers tell all of us how you expect to deport 11 MILLION people……….perhaps you can take tips from the Nazi’s.

      • 1mrt1

        Really baggee? and you want to allow criminals to live here and you pay for it?

        • Jeff P

          1mrt1, dectra acts as though it does not like tea bagging. Strange. I thought they liked perversion.

      • Jeff P

        It’s easy sunshine dectra. Severly punish those who employ or aid illegal aliens. They will become self deporting. Easy peezy.

  • neonnautilus

    He doesn’t get it. No negotiations until the government is open and the debt ceiling raised. Although I don’t trust the spineless democrats to stick to it.

  • SandyLester

    He should have just said, yet again Republicans cave to socialism. Phuque the American people, those peons do not need to be listened to.

  • ID-2

    If Obama takes Boehner’s olive branch it will show that the President really had no backup plan and that he needed Boehner, to ironically save his bacon.

    • giatny

      If you think Obama is losing this battle, you haven’t been paying attention.
      The shutdown is now 100% on the GOP, the GOP will sacrifice their only
      victory which was the sequester, they will lose the House in 2014, and
      get no change in ACA that Obama doesn’t already want (i.e. medical
      device tax removal.)

      • ID-2

        You are all so cute when you are delusional.

      • Jeff P

        uh huh. Right. Sure.

  • giatny

    Hasn’t Ryan’s unrealistic budget done enough damage? Any conference
    will definitely end with the Dems getting more spending in exchange for
    cuts that will never happen, especially since this latest stupidity will cost
    the GOP the House.

    • Jeff P

      Dream on giatny. lol!

  • Jilli Brown

    About freakin’ time. The golden boy has been running from conference for a long time. I guess being publically busted as being the problem – refusing 18+ requests for conference – finally persuaded him, eh?

  • iamsaved2

    There will be no negotiation as long as Harry Reid is still in his position.

  • billthepill

    The 2013 House budget proposal is at house.budget.gov and is called “The path to Prosperity A Blueprint for American Renewal”.
    So, who stalled? I mean before the Senate CR.

  • dectra

    this is the same Paul Ryan who wanted to tell seniors to fu@#$ off and die, because the Social Security they paid into didn’t want to pay them back?

    GOP: American Economic Terrorist.

    • 1mrt1

      Thats a Lie. Is that all you have? Lies?

    • Jeff P

      Dimmocrats: seeking Americas destruction.

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