Lawmakers Need to Come Up With Last Minute Budget Deal

Published 12/10 2013 02:39PM

Updated 12/10 2013 02:52PM

Time is ticking for lawmakers to come up with a last minute budget deal before the end of the year. There's only 5 days left on Capitol Hill where both the House and the Senate will be in session.

Can Congress reach an agreement before the holiday break?

Lawmakers are optimistic that a budget deal can be reached in the final week where both chambers are scheduled to be in session before the end of the year.

Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray and her House Counterpart Paul Ryan are working hard to hammer out a deal in order to keep the government funded past mid January and avoid another partial government shutdown.

"Whatever deal they strike, is going to be controversial like all fiscal deals are."

The President and Democrats are looking to extend unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans.  If they can't, funding run out on December 28th.

"If Congress refuses to act, it won't just hurt families already struggling, it will actually harm our economy.  Unemployment insurance is one of the most effective ways there is to boost our economy."

Some of the President's Republican Critics have come out against an extension.  One GOP Senator says, companies are less likely to hire someone with a large gap in their resume than someone who only recently lost a job.

"Every employer, nearly 100%, said they will always hire the person who's been out of work for weeks.  When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you're causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployment group in our economy."

In addition to tackling the budget and unemployment benefits, lawmakers need to address the Farm Bill, to prevent food and milk prices from skyrocketing, and funding for programs like food stamps.

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