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Budget deal doesn't make both sides happy

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 12 2013 09:33:57 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 13 2013 07:23:22 AM CST

Democrats and Republicans in the House have come together... To pass a new, two-year budget agreement.

Democrats and Republicans in the House came together to pass a new, two-year budget agreement Thursday.

Members of the House passed the two-year spending bill by a vote of 332-94.

Congressional leaders said they compromised to come to this agreement. But one local professor sees it differently. He said no one wanted to be the bad guy and stop the bill in its tracks in light of the recent government shutdown.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi commented, "At the end of the day we had to have a budget."

Some House Republicans were concerned spending would increase, while Democrats wanted to renew unemployment benefits before they expired at the end of the year. In the end both sides compromised.

Rep. John Boehner said, "You have to learn to get along as a family, learn to get things done as a family."

But Alvernia University political science professor Tim Blessing sees it differently.

Blessing said, "None of them want to be painted as threatening the credit of the United States or the stability of the budgetary process. So essentially this budget deal came out not out of compromise but out of fear of what would happen if they didn't compromise."

Blessing predicted that coming to agreements will continue to be a struggle for congressional leaders because Americans voted for politicians who are extreme and NOT moderate.

He continued, "We are a red nation and we are a blue nation and there is a deep deep divide between those two and there is just not middle ground to meet on."

In the end Dr. Blessing said this bill will not have a noticeable impact on Pennsylvanians. But it does prevent another government shutdown.

And, it eliminates forced spending cuts to the military and other programs through sequestration.

The bill will also double the fee travelers pay for TSA security and mandate that newly-hired federal workers contribute more money into their pensions.

The bill does not extend unemployment benefits which expire at the end of the year.

The bill still needs to go to the Senate for approval before it reaches the president's desk.