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Lawmakers won't say how they will vote on budget deal


The members of Montana's congressional delegation say they are relieved that a government shutdown has been averted.

But Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Max Baucus and U. S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., say they are holding off on determining how they will vote when the compromise budget plan comes before Congress.

Congressional leaders and President Barack Obama Friday agreed to a compromise budget shortly before the midnight deadline Saturday. Failure to arrive at a pact would have resulted in the shutdown of non-essential services.

Tester called a shutdown "the last thing our economy needs. It would have been irresponsible," he said. "And it would have cost jobs."

Rehberg had a wait-and-see attitude about the proposed budget that calls for massive cuts in federal spending, though less than Republican leaders had called for.

"I'm glad we were able to avert a costly shutdown," Rehberg said. "But I'm going to reserve judgment until I can see exactly what's in the final package."

Rehberg is a member of the Tea Party Caucus, and some tea party supporters were critical of Speaker John Boehner for compromising too much in negotiations with Senate Democrats and the White House.

"I'm glad that we managed to reduce the deficit by $38.5 billion," Rehberg said. "But let's keep some perspective. We've got a lot of work in front of us to restore fiscal sanity in Washington in order to create a pro-job environment for our small businesses."

Tester said he too would wait until he had a chance to study the budget before making a decision, saying, "The devil is in the details."

A shutdown would have been "irresponsible, and it would have cost jobs," he said.

"I look forward to making sure the plan is right for Montana before it earns my vote next week, " he said.

"I'm glad folks were able to put politics aside and work together to keep paying our troops and continue basic services folks are counting on," Baucus said, warning that "our work is far from over."

Baucus said his goal was "to reach a long-term solution that puts us back on a path toward fiscal responsibility without jeopardizing jobs and communities."

He said he would be working this week to build consensus on a "long-term solution."


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