U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., said that he thinks the new budget deal will win approval in the U.S. House on Thursday.
While he said that he preferred a long-term, deficit-reduction agreement, this might be the best that Congress can do.
“This is a product of some give-and-take and compromise, and this is what divided government is supposed to look like,” said Kind, on Thursday morning.
Kind, who is from La Crosse and represents much of southwestern and western part of the state, said the bill provides two years of certainty and stability, which he said would be good for businesses. He also praised the deal for averting another government shutdown and addressing sequestration cuts to basic research, education and infrastructure.
“This is a step in the right direction,” said Kind. “Sometimes, we’ve got to learn how to walk together a little bit before we can trot and run."
The deal doesn't include an extension of unemployment benefits for people out of work beyond 26 weeks -- something that Kind and other Democrats had requested. As a result, payments to an estimated 1.3 million individuals will be cut off on Dec. 28.
Kind also expressed disappointment that the agreement didn't cover the debt ceiling, which is expected to be reached in spring.
“I am sure that without that being included, it’s going to be a point of hostage-taking,” said Kind. “We’re going to go up to the brink again of possibly defaulting on our financial obligations for the first time in our nation’s history, possibly becoming a dead-beat nation, and the financial turmoil that that will create both at home and abroad.”
Separate from the budget, the House is scheduled to vote on a bill on Thursday that would extend the current farm law through January. Kind said if dairy subsidies are allowed to expire on Jan. 1, milk prices could potentially reach $10 a gallon.
Kind said while higher prices might seem good for farmers, consumers would immediately respond negatively.
“No one’s going to go into a grocery store and pay for milk at that price,” Kind said. “My fear is when they do, it’s hard to get them back, and that could devastate the daily industry, especially fluid milk consumption in the future.”
Even if the House passed a short-term extension, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already vowed to not take up the measure.
The House and Senate passed separate versions of a new bill, but greatly differ over crop subsidies and food stamps cuts.