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Congress: Murray's plan

The Seattle Times: Sen. Patty “Murray’s plan would raise $1 trillion in new taxes over the next decade by targeting upper-income Americans and tax breaks for corporations. It seeks to cut spending by roughly the same amount in order to shrink — but not eliminate — the current $1.1 trillion annual deficit. The plan also includes $100 billion in stimulus spending on roads and other infrastructure, according to details released by Senate Democrats. If approved, it would be the first budget resolution passed by the Senate since 2009. Murray’s vision is a stark alternative to the Republican proposal rolled out Tuesday by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. The Ryan plan includes no new taxes; collapses six income-tax brackets to two, 10 percent or 25 percent; and rolls back spending on Medicare, Medicaid and a host of entitlement programs. It also balances the budget by 2023, in large part by eliminating the expansion of government-subsidized health coverage under the Affordable Care Act while benefiting from higher taxes on wealthier households that President Obama signed in January against Republican opposition.”

Reuters: “Democrats on Wednesday will unveil a U.S. budget blueprint that attempts to slice federal deficits by $1.85 trillion over 10 years through an equal mix of spending cuts and tax increases on the rich, according to a Democratic source. The fiscal plan, which will be debated by the Senate Budget Committee this week, is the Democrats' answer to a Republican budget set forth in the House of Representatives that claims to reach balance in 10 years through deep cuts to domestic programs and without any tax increases beyond those approved on Jan. 1.”

David Rogers: “After a rocky, sometimes comical start, Senate leaders still hoped to right the ship Tuesday and move ahead this week with a stopgap bill to keep the government operating past March 27, and through the last six months of the fiscal year. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) initially raised objections, insisting on more time to read the 587-page measure before allowing any debate on amendments. But after tense exchanges, McCain promised to expedite matters, and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) responded with humor.”

National Journal calls Ryan’s budget “more of the same”: “Despite the buildup to this new proposal, Ryan’s latest plan looks remarkably similar to his previous budgets in its substance: the same ones litigated on the presidential campaign trail in 2012 and that Democrats love to cast as draconian.”

Politico on Eric Cantor’s shift to the “middle”: “The man who once threatened to block emergency aid for tornado victims unless Congress found an ‘offset’ is now pitching himself as a man just looking to get important issues like job training and education reform through a partisan Congress.”