Local lawmakers divided on federal budget deal
A bipartisan collection of suburban federal lawmakers backs the latest federal budget deal struck in Washington, but others are waiting until closer to a possible House vote Thursday to make a decision.
Approval would avoid another budget battle such as the one that led to a government shutdown this year, and some local lawmakers say they support the two-year agreement at least partly for that reason.
U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, a Wheaton Republican, said the proposal would remove "the threat of brinksmanship and shutdown nonsense -- and all this with no tax increases. It's a small step but it's in the right direction."
Democratic Reps. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates and Brad Schneider of Deerfield also back the plan, which would restore $63 billion in spending cuts but create $85 billion in cuts and new fees in the next decade.
"This budget deal is a welcome break from all the last-minute, patchwork solutions," Duckworth said in an email to supporters. "It makes smarter cuts to our budget while preserving critical investments in our nation's future."
Schneider said he'd prefer a proposal that continues to offer unemployment benefits to people without work for more than 26 weeks but called it a "good faith effort to provide our businesses, families and communities with the stability and certainty that's been sorely lacking from Washington."
Meanwhile, Democratic Reps. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston and Bill Foster of Naperville, along with Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren of Winfield, are still reviewing the proposal.
Some conservative groups have criticized the plan for not dealing with the country's debt in a more substantive way.
And some Democrats could keep looking for action on unemployment benefits.
Foster released a statement earlier in the day calling for an unemployment benefits extension. On the budget plan, he said he was pleased a deal had been struck and he'd be reviewing it.
"Our economy is still recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression," Foster said. "Now is not the time to cut off this important lifeline."
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin backs the proposal, and Republican Sen. Mark Kirk is recovering from gall bladder surgery.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.