WASHINGTON — Congressional
Final passage of the $85-billion package, however, remains uncertain because of rising opposition from
The two-year deal, negotiated by the GOP's budget point man, Rep.
"Because of this deal, the budget process can now stop lurching from crisis to crisis," said Murray, chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee.
Ryan, the former Republican vice presidential candidate whose political credibility may rest with his ability to sway his conservative colleagues, praised the agreement because it will further reduce the federal deficit by $23 billion and contains no new tax increases.
"I see this agreement as a step in the right direction," Ryan said. "In divided government, you don't always get what you want."
The last budget standoff culminated in a 16-day shutdown in October, costing the government billions of dollars and driving Americans' approval of
The agreement would undo $63 billion of the automatic
But some tea party conservatives would prefer to live with those reductions, however painful, to keep down government spending.
"This budget continues Washington's irresponsible budgeting decisions by spending more money than the government takes in," Rubio said, adding that the American people "deserve better."
The deal sets 2014 spending at $1.012 trillion, higher than the $967 billion that would have taken effect under the sequester law on Jan. 15, but less than
The package does not include an extension of unemployment insurance, as President
"This agreement doesn't include everything I'd like — and I know many Republicans feel the same way," the president said. "That's the nature of compromise.… The American people should not have to endure the pain of another government shutdown for the next two years."
But the accord did little to placate leading conservative groups, who attacked the deal even before its details were announced.
"We're going to hold them accountable if they go back on sequester," said Tim Phillips, president of the conservative
"There's a real concern about giving up the sequester," said Sen.
Ryan was expected to brief his House Republican colleagues Wednesday.
Boehner has faced a similar challenge in the past, when his right flank rejected previous budget deals. If the speaker lost the support of his House Republican majority, he would be forced to rely on Democrats for passage, something he has been reluctant to do because it dilutes his power.
Already, 30 House Republicans have signed a letter in support of the sequester cuts, and GOP aides expect as many as 100 Democratic votes would be needed to secure passage because of likely Republican defections.
But as details of the deal emerged, it was unclear whether Boehner could pick up enough Democratic support. Rep.
Jim Dean, chairman of Democracy for America, said Democrats should reject the deal because it failed to include an unemployment insurance extension. "Negotiators have declared 'War on Christmas,' and potentially sentenced millions of struggling Americans to a very bleak New Year," he said.
But another Democrat, Rep.
In the Senate, where Democrats have the majority, Majority Leader
Pressure on Republican senators was coming not only from conservative groups, including Heritage Action and