• Budget Deal Passes House
  • December 17, 2013
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • Despite opposition from conservative interest groups, an overwhelming majority of House Republicans joined leadership Thursday night to approve a budget deal brokered by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Republican Paul Ryan (R-WI).

    The House passed a two-year budget bill by a wide 332-94 margin. The bill, if it becomes law, will fund the government through October 2015 and avoid another government shutdown in January.

    It received some opposition in both parties, with Democrats complaining that it will not extend long-term unemployment insurance benefits-set to expire on Dec. 28-and Republicans concerned about easing sequestration while raising revenues. Several major conservative groups came out against the measure, but the opposition had little impact. The bill passed with 169 Republicans and 163 Democrats voting for the measure; 62 Republicans and 32 Democrats opposed it.

    The bill sets top-line funding levels at $1.012 trillion for fiscal 2014 and $1.014 trillion for fiscal 2015, while providing $63 billion in sequester relief over two years, paid for through a combination of fees and mandatory savings. The deal will also reduce the deficit by $28 billion over the next 10 years.

    The bill includes an amendment that will extend the "doc fix" formula, which is used to reimburse doctors under Medicare, for three months, while congressional negotiators continue to search for a more permanent fix.

    The bill now heads to the Senate, where passage is expected but not assured. Democrats will need five Republicans to join them in voting for cloture to get the bill to the floor, and they are expected to get them. The cloture vote could come as early as Monday, with a final vote Tuesday.