By Erik Wasson
Ryan briefs leaders on budget, other members are in dark
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) briefed House GOP leaders on the status of his private fiscal talks with Senate Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.), but other key members of the new House-Senate panel say they are in the dark on what the two have been talking about.
Ryan said Tuesday that he and Murray have made some progress although they are not near completing a deal, which the committee is trying to complete by Dec. 13.
A Democratic aide said Murray is hopeful that a path to a deal can be found and conversations with Ryan are going on daily.
But other members on the committee say they are in the dark and they have not been briefed on any specific proposals for a framework deal.
There is no formal budget conference meeting scheduled and the group is not likely to get together until the week of Dec. 9.
“He has kept those pretty tight,” panelist Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said of Ryan.
“There has not been a proposal laid out from the Republicans,” House Budget Ranking Member Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said. “There is a big distinction between having a serious discussion and having a negotiation and a willingness to compromise.”
Van Hollen is calling for unemployment insurance extension to be part of any deal. The extension could cost $25 billion or more, meaning an offset would need to be found for it.
Panelist Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), whose top priority is reversing the $91 billion in sequester cuts that are hitting the budget, said she has gotten no signal that any deal could be coming together.
Unless a budget deal is found by Jan. 15, the government could shutdown again.