Angus King appointed to panel charged with solving post-shutdown budget impasse

Posted Oct. 17, 2013, at 1:03 p.m.
Independent Sen. Angus King
Independent Sen. Angus King

WASHINGTON — Sen. Angus King was appointed Thursday to a bipartisan, bicameral committee tasked with developing a long-term budget plan by Dec. 13.

The committee was created by the same piece of legislation approved by Congress on Wednesday night that ended the 16-day government shutdown, raised the U.S. debt limit and made minuscule changes to the Affordable Care Act.

“I am pleased to be a member of the conference committee, and I look forward to working with my House and Senate colleagues to develop a long-term budget that puts our nation back on a path to fiscal certainty and stability,” King said in a release.

King is a member of the Senate Budget Committee. Congress has not approved a complete budget in five years, instead lurching from one short-term continuing resolution to another. The committee is meant to reconcile the two budgets passed earlier this year by the Senate and House.

“Passing a budget is the most fundamental task of governing, and it’s not been done for far too long. There is no doubt that reconciling the differences will be challenging, but it’s also an invaluable opportunity for us to do some real good for the country and demonstrate to the American people that we still have the ability to govern.”

The budget conference committee includes 22 senators: 10 Republicans, 10 Democrats and two independents — King is joined by fellow independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Both King and Sanders caucus with Senate Democrats.

The panel also includes seven lawmakers from the House of Representatives, three Democrats and four Republicans.

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