Patty Murray is slated to be the new head of the Senate Budget Committee. The seat will open at the end of the year with the resignation of Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota.
Murray has said she will seek the position and the Democrats now have a 55-45 majority in the Senate so her appointment is a foregone conclusion.
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The committee considers the nation’s economic policy and the budgetary impact of Congressional actions. As head, Murray hopes to expand the committee’s conversations from focusing on debt and deficits to include the nation’s spending priorities and investments.
Better transportation systems, military and veterans’ issues, and improved job training for health care and aerospace workers are among those priorities and investment opportunities.
The leaders of both the Senate and House budget committees will also be involved in working out the details of the broad based agreements reached between the President and both houses of Congress.
Murray says a compromise on the tax issue (whether to raise taxes on the wealthy) will lead to agreement on other points related to the fiscal cliff issue.
Jeff Sessions of Alabama will be the top Republican on the committee. He has criticized the Democrats for failing to pass a budget
for three years. He hopes Murray will put an end to that streak.