Ag Policy Blog

Reid Seeks Broader Budget Deal

Jerry Hagstrom
By  Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- As congressional leaders met with President Barack Obama on Tuesday to resolve the federal government shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was pushing for a larger budget agreement.

The proposal include plans to talk about a final savings figure for farm programs.

Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, wrote a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, proposing that the House pass the Senate resolution to reopen the government to be followed by the large-scale negotiations on budget policies.

The letter also says, “You and your colleagues have repeatedly cited these fiscal issues as the things on which we need to work. This conference would be an appropriate place to have these discussions, where participants could raise whatever proposals — such as tax reform, health care, agriculture and certainly discretionary spending like veterans, national parks and NIH — they feel appropriate.”

The inclusion of agriculture in the first part of the sentence rather than in the discretionary spending section of the sentence would appear to be a reference to the farm bill.

In response to Reid’s letter, Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, said,

“The entire government is shut down right now because Washington Democrats refuse to even talk about fairness for all Americans under Obamacare. Offering to negotiate only after Democrats get everything they want is not much of an offer. Today, the House will continue to pass bills that reflect the American people’s priorities. The Senate passed the troop funding bill this weekend — will they now say ‘no’ to funding for veterans, our national parks and the National Institutes of Health?”

President Obama, meanwhile met with congressional leaders in the late afternoon at the White House.


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Alvin Obert
10/4/2013 | 6:32 AM CDT