To reach accord on a budget for 2014 and set the framework for the next 10 years, Murray said she’ll rely on the same skills she used in teaching 4-year-olds at the Shoreline Community College Co-op Preschool Program in her home state of Washington in the mid-1980s.
“It’s making sure that everybody’s voice is heard but also knowing when it’s time to say, ‘It’s my turn to talk,’’’ said Murray, a fourth-term senator first elected in 1992.
Hoping to save 750,000 jobs that Democrats say are threatened by the latest across-the-board spending cuts, Murray would replace them with a new plan to again raise taxes on millionaires while imposing a new set of cuts, including $240 billion from defense.
Her plan would create a new, $100 billion “economic recovery protection plan” to spend more to replace bridges, repair schools and bring broadband technology to more communities.
Overall, the Murray plan would cut deficits by another $1.85 trillion over the next decade, with $975 billion in new spending cuts and the same amount in new tax revenue.
Republicans in the Senate committee, though, argue that Murray’s budget restores the across-the-board cuts and therefore doesn’t cut as much as Democrats claim.
“Because (Democrats) restore automatic spending cuts that are already law, their plan has a net spending increase and no deficit reduction whatsoever when you remove the other gimmicks,” said Andrew Logan, press secretary for Republicans on the budget committee.
Murray’s worried about the spending cuts in the sequester, which could cost 41,700 jobs and deliver a $3.4 billion hit to the Washington state economy, according to the state’s Office of Financial Management. On Monday, 250 pink slips went to workers at the Hanford nuclear waste site and more than 2,500 employees were warned of upcoming furloughs. Murray fears the loss of more money for schools, declining income for thousands of civilian employees at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and delayed treatment for soldiers. And she said a loss of housing vouchers in King County could mean more homeless on the streets.
“It’s really scary,” said Murray.
Ryan’s plan, similar to what he campaigned on as Republican Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate last year, would cut deficits by $4.6 trillion over the next 10 years and reduce the annual growth in federal spending from 5 percent to 3.4 percent.
Ryan also wants to junk the health care plan passed by Congress in 2010 and allow seniors to choose whether to use Medicare or private insurance, beginning in 2024. He would then use the $716 billion cut from Medicare to help trim the federal deficit over the next decade.
In the weekly Republican radio address on Saturday, Ryan said his plan ensures that “we stop spending money we don’t have” by getting rid of wasteful spending, reining in the federal bureaucracy and giving states more control in how they handle welfare. And he ridiculed the Democratic mantra for a “balanced approach” to trim the deficit both by cutting spending and raising taxes, saying it’s just an attempt to fuel more spending.
“President Obama and Senate Democrats say they want a balanced approach to our fiscal issues, but their budgets never balance – ever,” Ryan said.