On Friday, President Barack Obama signed a two-year budget deal that will prevent debt ceiling arguments for the rest of his term and into the first year of the next presidency.
“I applaud the Democrats and Republicans who came together this morning to pass a responsible, long-term budget agreement that reflects our values, grows our economy and creates jobs,” he said in a statement.
“This agreement will strengthen the middle class by investing in education, job training, and basic research. It will keep us safe by investing in our national security. It protects our seniors by avoiding harmful cuts to Medicare and Social Security. It is paid for in a responsible, balanced way — in part with a measure to ensure that partnerships like hedge funds pay what they owe in taxes just like everybody else. It locks in two years of funding and should help break the cycle of shutdowns and manufactured crises that have harmed our economy.”
But with the federal government’s spending issues tackled, Pennsylvanians can focus on the fact that the commonwealth still has no budget after almost four months.
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“Staff from the governor’s office have been meeting with staff from the legislative offices, on both sides, but there have been no major developments” said Jeff Sheridan, press secretary for Gov. Tom Wolf.
The debate has become a showdown between the Democratic governor, who is focused on education, and the Republican-led legislature, helmed by state Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Benner Township, who sees the most important issue being the state’s pension crisis.
“We’re waiting for the Republicans to bring us a proposal we can work around,” Sheridan said.
The one thing the two sides can agree on is that everything is still ongoing.
“We are in the process, as we have been of trying to come up with a compromise with the governor to pass a budget,” said Corman. “It's frustrating that it's here this long. I do see some light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully that's optimism.”
Corman doesn’t see the movement in Washington as an example.
“I never take much out of Congress one way or the other. They have their own set of problems and we have our own,” he said.