Washington (CNN) - 2013 ended with Congress reaching a deal on funding the government without all the end-of-the-year drama that we've come to expect. Democrats and Republicans defied the recent all-or-nothing gamesmanship and brokered a budget deal before its deadline, prompting speculation that maybe, just maybe, dogs and cats can live together.
Here are five things on both President Barack Obama's and Congress' agendas that will show pretty quickly whether breaking the partisan logjam in the capital is possible or just a fantasy.
Updated 12:54 p.m., 12/18/2013
(CNN) – Sen. Patty Murray, co-crafter of the bipartisan budget agreement and member of the veterans affair committee, said Wednesday cuts to pension benefits for some military veterans under the spending plan was a part of a compromise to avoid billions in cuts to the defense industry.
"We had to look at how we could find compromises. There are things in this I like and there are things in this I don't like," the Senate Budget Committee chair and Democrat from Washington State said in an interview on CNN's "New Day."
Washington (CNN) – That warm and fuzzy feeling lawmakers had on Capitol Hill last week for doing their jobs and finally passing a budget continued into the weekend, as the architects of the deal patted each other on the back for a job well done.
The House overwhelmingly passed a bill based on a bipartisan agreement crafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray, chairwoman of the Senate’s Budget Committee.
(CNN) - "We have broken through the partisanship and the gridlock," Sen. Patty Murray, one of two chief budget negotiators, said of Tuesday's deal to avoid another government shutdown.
Murray, a Democrat from Washington state serving her fourth term, is considered a steady hand in the Senate who shuns grandstanding and garners respect from both sides of the aisle.
Washington (CNN) - Rep. Paul Ryan, the top Republican involved in budget talks, told reporters Tuesday that negotiators were closing in on a deal with a Friday deadline for doing so fast approaching.
"We're making really good progress. We're getting close. Don't have a timeline for you," Ryan said.
Washington (CNN) - Note to anyone watching the high-stakes, trillion-dollar budget talks in Washington: you can take a break from constantly checking for a deal. Senior Republican and Democratic aides tell CNN that the two leaders running negotiations have left Washington for the weekend and any agreement is not expected until next week.
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan has returned to Wisconsin and Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray is in Washington state, the aides confirm.
Washington (CNN) – The Republican congressman and Democratic senator charged with hashing out a federal budget deal are "closer" to an agreement but not there yet, according to senior aides in both parties.
A senior Democratic aide tells CNN that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray met Wednesday afternoon and are narrowing down the issues in a potential spending deal.
Washington (CNN) – Catch your breath. And get ready for another fight. The next fiscal faceoff in Congress is likely to start in just over a week.
That's when the group of nearly 30 lawmakers charged with working out a budget plan for the government plans to hold its first meeting, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, told CNN after he and three other top congressional budget leaders sat down Thursday morning. Sessions is the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.
Washington (CNN) - Harry Reid is never one to mince words.
The Senate majority leader made it abundantly clear Saturday that a House vote on the two proposed amendments to the Senate-passed continuing resolution, which funds the Affordable Care Act, is "pointless" and that a revised bill would go nowhere in the upper chamber, declaring that "the American people will not be extorted by Tea Party anarchists."
(CNN) – Well, you saw this one coming.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington) cracked wise Thursday about House Speaker John Boehner's fiscal cliff back-up plan, a bill unofficially labeled "Plan B."