On Ryan/Murray Budget: Lee Blasts; Swalwell Backs

Rep. Barbara Lee votes no.

CONGRESS | BUDGET | Rep. Barbara Lee had tough words for the bipartisan budget bill passed Thursday by the House, which leaves over 1.3 million Americans without unemployment checks early next year, while fellow Alameda County Rep. Eric Swalwell boasted over its the conciliatory nature.

“We are talking about 1.3 million people who will lose unemployment benefits during this holiday season,” said Lee. “It is cruel. It is morally wrong, and it is economically stupid.” She added, “The least we can do for the millions of long-term unemployed who are struggling just to get by during this holiday season is to pass this three-month extension.”

The budget deal hammered out by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) reinstates some funding cut made due to this year’s sequester, extends Medicare payments, but does not include any new taxes.

In a letter in support, Swalwell, along with 12 members of a bipartisan freshman caucus, said the budget deal is an example how working across the aisle can move the country forward.

“No agreement is perfect and there are aspects of the Ryan/Murray budget with which all of us disagree. But, that is what legislating in Congress is all about – cooperating to achieve an agreement which on balance would improve the lives of the American people.”

South Bay Rep. Mike Honda also voted for the bipartisan budget. His opponent for the 17th Congressional District, Ro Khanna, also registered support for the budget plan, while signaling out the passing over of unemployment insurance. “No Member of Congress will embrace every aspect of the compromise budget passed this afternoon–and I am personally concerned that unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless were not extended.”

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