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N.C. Lawmaker Thinks Budget Comprise Is Too Small To Signal Change In Washington

Congressman David Price

Rep. David Price (D-NC) plans to vote for the budget agreement, proposed on Wednesday by representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Patty Murray (D-WA). Though he's not convinced it will be enough in the long run.

"It's hard to imagine sequestration looming over us for ten years," said Price.  "We are going to need to do something bigger and ambitious at some point."

"It does not necessarily mean we're on our way to larger agreements," Price added.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are lukewarm on the agreement. It provides $63 billion in "sequestration relief" (meaning restoring funds that had been cut by sequestration earlier this year) and $85 dollars in increased revenue (meaning additional cuts and raising fees for things like airline security).

Noticeably absent from the agreement was any mention of extending long-term unemployment benefits, something North Carolinians know all too much about.

"North Carolina has gotten an unwelcome foretaste of what it's like to have unemployment benefits cut," said Price, in reference to cuts made at the state level last summer. "We've had tens of thousands of people cut off by virtue of Governor McCrory and our state government. But nationally, we really need to continue the unemployment extension for long-term unemployed people."

Eric Mennel prepares the afternoon/evening "drive time" newscast on WUNC. Previously, he was a producer for The Story with Dick Gordon. Eric has reported for All Things Considered, This American Life, 99% Invisible and other radio programs. He covered protests and security measures at the 2012 Republican National Convention for WUSF Tampa and NPR News. One day, he hopes to own a home with a wrap-around porch.
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