Owens: Budget deal is good start

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Bill Owens praised House passage of a bipartisan budget conference agreement that averts another government shutdown, even though he’s not entirely happy with the deal.

“Today’s budget compromise is an important breakthrough that moves us in a positive direction,” Owens said Thursday in a press release. “While I would have preferred a bigger deal that further reduced the deficit, I am pleased today’s agreement largely eliminated the sequester and its negative effects on New Yorkers.”

The bipartisan budget compromise will relieve many of the sequester cuts currently in place and scheduled to deepen next month. The budget will increase defense and domestic spending from $967 billion this fiscal year to $1.012 trillion. That number will increase to $1.014 trillion in the next fiscal year, which starts in October 2014. Even with the increase in spending and reversal of most of the sequester’s cuts, other components of the budget compromise will allow the government to modestly reduce the deficit over 10 years.

“This compromise, though imperfect, lays the groundwork for future cooperation on other important issues including the Farm Bill and debt ceiling,” Owens said. “By taking similar bipartisan action on these issues in January, Congress can bring long-overdue certainty to the economy and my constituents and return our focus to what’s most important: creating jobs and growing the economy.”