According to POLITICO, GOP Rep. Paul Ryan and his Democratic counterpart Sen. Patty Murray, just might be close to a short term budget that could pass both houses and be signed by the president. As is always the case things could fall apart but for the moment their is an ray of bipartisan hope.
Those hopes are growing that Ryan and Murray could reach a narrow deal to replace a portion of the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, according to lawmakers and senior aides involved in the discussions. The changing dynamics are the result of several factors: The fears among GOP defense hawks of deep Pentagon cuts in the new fiscal year; the desire of Republican leaders to avoid another disastrous shutdown fight; and the willingness of Democrats to consider other revenue raisers besides tax increases.
It is still entirely likely that the talks could fall apart, leading to yet another bitter partisan impasse, something that once again seemed possible after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell addressed the spending issue at a closed-door House GOP Conference on Tuesday. And any deal would be small in comparison to the $17.1 trillion national debt, potentially with proposals to replace one year of sequestration cuts — worth $110 billion — or something smaller, with more targeted cuts.
But a budget deal — even clearing this low bar — would represent a major breakthrough in the nonstop fiscal wars between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans and could reverberate ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.