This area’s congressman said he agreed to a compromise that avoided shutting down the federal government Friday because of the impact the action would have had on the military.
“With this agreement we have prevented a government shutdown and ensured that our troops and their families will see no interruption in their pay,” Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga. 1st, said in a news release Friday night when the agreement was announced just hours before the midnight deadline. “In doing so, we will save $79 billion from the president’s budget and have moved the ball down the road for the battles ahead.”
Saying he was pleased the shutdown had been avoided, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., agreed that the compromise is not the last of budget work lawmakers will have to tackle.
“I hope we will quickly resolve the short-term budget next week so we can move on to tackle the larger challenge of reducing our enormous, unsustainable $14 trillion debt during the upcoming debates over the debt ceiling and the budget for fiscal year 2012,” the senator said, pointing out the compromise will continue operations for a week.
An Associated Press story said the compromise is for funding through the end of the federal fiscal year, trimming President Barack Obama’s budget by $38.5 billion. The action, however, continued funding until the larger deal can be worked out.
“Americans of different beliefs came together again,” Obama said from the White House Blue Room, a setting chosen to offer a clear view of the Washington Monument over his right shoulder.
The agreement was negotiated by Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. The administration was poised to shutter federal services, from national parks to tax-season help centers, and to send furlough notices to hundreds of thousands of federal workers.
Isakson, who used the budget brinksmanship as an example of why the government should adopt a two-year budget system, said the country has to become more fiscally responsible. “It is about reining in expenses and spending our money accountably and predictably so the American people can expect of us what they have had to do—sit around their kitchen tables to prioritize what comes in and what goes out and balance their budgets, he said.