Op-Ed: Republicans declare cease-fire in battle with Obama and Democrats

Posted Dec 10, 2013 by Robert Weller
With President Obama attending the funeral of South African hero Nelson Mandela, the Congress has stunned Washington with Christmas approaching by reaching a deal on a budget.
U.S. President Barack Obama (C) and his wife Michelle are seen on a big screen at the Stadium  also ...
U.S. President Barack Obama (C) and his wife Michelle are seen on a big screen at the Stadium, also known as Soccer City, during the national memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela, Dec. 10 2013
With permission by Reuters / Yves Herman
The New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times reported a deal had been made.
It was to be sealed Tuesday night.
Some were calling it a cease-fire in the partisan wars that have made this Congress the least productive in the nation’s history.
Democrats will claim victory, and Sen. Harry Reid’s decision to bust the filibuster, and Obama’s refusal to accept a deal on the debt ceiling, will be credited with turning the train wreck around.
Although Obama’s popularity has declined sharply as Republicans fought tooth-and-nail to stop Obamacare, the party of Lincoln lately had a popular rating of 22 percent.
“We have broken through the partisanship and gridlock and reached a bipartisan budget compromise that will avert a government shutdown in January,” said Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the chairwoman of the Budget Committee and the chief Democratic negotiator, to the New York Times.
The Washington Post reported: “House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement on an $85 billion package to fund the government past Jan. 15, avoid another federal shutdown and end the cycle of budget crises that have dominated Washington for much of the past three years.”
The conflict had led to a government shutdown that economists estimated cost the nation $24 billion. It may have led to the election of a Democrat as governor in Virginia, where 800,000 workers were laid off in the Washington, D.C., area.
The agreement ends the “sequester,” which probably caused many Americans to grind their teeth every time they heard the word.
Politico reported package includes $63 billion of “sequester relief,” $85 billion of total savings, and $23 billion in net deficit reduction.
Hopefully, the agreement will make it possible for Congress and Obama to break the gridlock that likely slowed the economic recovery, though recent reports show it gaining steam.