A budget deal reached by Senate and House negotiators doesn’t impress Sen. Deb Fischer.
Fischer says she has made no decision on the $85 billion budget agreement, but isn’t pleased that negotiations on the Farm Bill have stalled, preventing budget negotiators from including an expected $23 billion dollars in savings in their calculations.
It hasn’t been a great week in Washington, D.C. says Fischer.
“So, that even really depresses me more, that we’ve lost that one option that was out there that did give us kind of a lifeline,” Fischer says of the failure of Farm Bill negotiators.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, a Democrat from the state of Washington, announced the $85 billion deal earlier this week.
The deal would fund the federal government through September of 2015, ending the cyclical budget crises that have nearly paralyzed Capitol Hill that last few years.
It sets spending levels for the next fiscal year at $1.012 trillion and $1.014 trillion the next year; an increase in federal spending of $45 billion the first year, $63 billion over the two years.
The deal raises airline travel fees, requires federal workers and those in the military to contribute slightly more to their pension plans, and does not extend long-term unemployment insurance.
The debt limit was left out of the deal. The Treasury Department estimates the country will bump up against its debt ceiling in the spring.
Fischer says she will study the budget deal.
“From what I see, just first blush, I have some concerns about it.”
Fischer says she came to Washington to cut the budget and the deal appears to put off any tough decisions until 2022 or 2023.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]