100 People to Watch This Fall : Page 70 of 102


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Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) Chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee

In her first year leading the Senate’s Budget Committee, Murray passed her caucus’s first budget in four years. 

Often underestimated, Murray is trusted by her party’s leaders, who repeatedly have turned to her for help, from leading the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) in the last election cycle to serving as co-chairwoman of the budget supercommittee in 2011. 

As head of the DSCC, she saw her party gain seats in the 2012 election even though it was defending more seats than Republicans.  

By passing a budget this year, Murray turned the tables on the GOP, which had made the Senate Democrats’ failure to pass a budget a regular talking point. Now Democrats are playing offense, as Murray regularly goes to the floor to ask the House to consent to form a conference committee on the budget.  

The GOP’s refusal to do so bolsters Democrats, who are able to portray Republicans as intransigent and their own party as being willing to deal. 

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