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January 28, 2013 at 9:15 AM

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Our own Sen. Patty Murray could break the Senate budget logjam

With the retirement of Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Washington state's own Sen. Patty Murray is in the Senate budget hotseat -- especially hot because of the Senate's failure to produce a budget for the last three years.

Writing for Slate, Matthew Yglesias expresses high hopes for Murray's tenure as budget chair, noting she is "substantially more liberal and also more politically adept than her predecessor."

In her statement as she took over the budget committee, Murray said:

As Chairman of the Budget Committee, I am going to be very focused on making sure that our government is supporting job creation and encouraging broad-based economic growth. Trickle-down economics has proven to be a failed theory and a wrong-headed ideology, and I feel very strongly that real prosperity and growth comes from the middle out, not the top down.

So the Budget Committee will be examining our nation’s spending priorities closely and working to make sure we are making the long-term investments in our people and our communities that will allow us to compete and win in the 21st century economy. And as someone whose own family benefited from a government that was there for us when we needed it most, I am also going to fight to make sure the most vulnerable families have the support they need to put food on their table and keep their heads above the water while they work to get back on their feet.

Interestingly, Murray, who was elected in 1992, reminisces about the work done to reduce the deficit with the new President Bill Clinton, including the Deficit Reduction Act of 1983.

Pressure for writing a budget and passing one is ratcheting up with the House approval of HR 325, a bill to allow raising of the debt ceiling. The measure also contained a provision that members of Congress will receive no pay unless they pass a budget. The "No Budget? No Pay" idea is advanced by No Labels, a bipartisan group devoted to getting federal leaders to move past political divisions in service to the country.

Members of Washington state's House delegation voting yes on that bill included all three of its new members -- U.S. Reps. Denny Heck, Suzan DelBene, Derek Kilmer, all Democrats. Also voting yes were Republicans Doc Hastings, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dave Reichert.

Voting no were Democrats Rick Larsen, Jim McDermott, Adam Smith and Republican Jamie Herrera Beutler.

Photo is by Getty Images: U.S. Sen. Patty Murray speaks during at Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September.

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