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Ryan: Budget "brings certainty" but is no "grand bargain"

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan of Janesville has announced a federal budget agreement that President Obama hailed as a compromise, but has at least some conservatives grumbling that it doesn't cut enough.

Ryan and Democratic Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray of Washington unveiled a two-year agreement last night. Ryan said it achieved his goals by making a first step toward cutting the federal deficit. With the divided government, Ryan says nobody will get everything they want -- and he believes the G-O-P-controlled House will end up approving the package. It includes $85-billion in spending cuts, more than the$ 63-billion originally planned over the next two years.

However the agreement softens the blow with new-and-extended fees -- things like an extra five-dollars for airport security on non-stop flights, making newly-hired federal workers pay more for their pensions, lower cost-of-living adjustments for military retirees, and two more years of a 2-percent cut in hospital Medicare reimbursements. It's not the so-called "grand bargain" that some in Washington were hoping for, when a special budget panel was formed as part of ending the federal government shutdown last October. Murray said the new package quote, "breaks through the recent dysfunction" and rolls back the sequestration cuts for defense and domestic spending in a balanced way.

Ryan will pitch the agreement to his fellow Republicans today in a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill.