WASHINGTON, D.C. - Part of Wednesday night's deal to reopen the government and avoid the nation’s first-ever default included the creation of a special panel of lawmakers to negotiate a long-term budget compromise.
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) will co-chair the joint House-Senate panel with U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
Among those Murray appointed to the panel from the Senate is Florida's U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. The Florida Democrat along with the other 27 members on the conference panel will be charged with crafting a budget blueprint by Dec. 13 that will be acceptable to both major political parties. The conferees will have until that date to resolve what amounts to a nearly $90 billion difference between the differing budgets as proposed by the Senate and House.
“The way I see this, every member of Congress has a responsibility to put aside partisan political differences in favor of finding common-sense solutions,” said Nelson, a political moderate who's long advocated for more civility in public service.
Nelson currently is in his third six-year term in the Senate, where he serves on both the Finance and Budget committees.
The bipartisan, bicameral conference committee was created as part of the deal the House and Senate passed late last night to end the 16-day government shutdown and avoid a U.S. financial default.