Ryan: ‘We are not busting sequester caps’ with budget deal

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) - Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) - Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) defended the fiscal deal he crafted with Senate counterpart Patty Murray (D-Wash.) against criticism from Republicans who say he sacrificed the sequester's automatic spending cuts for the sake of a bargain.

"We’re not busting sequester caps," Ryan said on "Fox News Sunday." "In just the next two years, 70 percent of the sequester is intact. Ninety-two percent of the sequester over the life of the sequester is intact. The Democrats came into this thing saying ‘get rid of the entire sequester.’"

The congressman also noted that the deal would enact permanent spending cuts in exchange for lifting some of the temporary sequester reductions.

"We are permanently asking federal workers to contribute more to their pensions so that the hard-working taxpayers who pay for those pensions don’t have to pay as much," he said.

"This is keeping our principle intact," Ryan added. "No tax increases, net deficit reduction, permanent spending cuts in place of the across-the-board [sequester] approach.”

The budget deal, approved by the House last week, would cut spending in certain areas by $85 billion over the next decade while providing $62 billion in sequester relief over the next two years. The net result would be $23 billion in deficit reduction, which is smaller that what the automatic spending cuts would provide but also more permanent.

 

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

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Josh Hicks · December 14, 2013