The US House and Senate have each approved separate budget measures for next year. The next step, working on a version both chambers can agree on. Partisan gridlock has prevented a deal, but a freshman Congressman from central Illinois says there's hope.
To understand each chamber's budget proposal, one only has to see which party is in charge, and fall back on stereotypes. The Senate, controlled by Democrats, raises taxes on the wealthy to protect social welfare programs. The House, in the hands of Republicans, passed a more austere plan that cuts the corporate tax rate and includes deep cuts to Medicaid.
“Yes, they're two distinct, different visions for America, but what did you expect? They're frameworks. They're a laid-out plan of action," says Davis.
US Representative Rodney Davis is a Republican from Taylorville. He says he's optimistic the chambers will reach an agreement. Davis says for the first time in four years, each chamber will have a proposal from the other to consider. Davis also says he's encouraged by President Barack Obama reaching out to meet with House Republicans.
“Well, we've got a lot of naysayers in my caucus that say he doesn't mean it. I'm optimistic the steps he's taking show he wants to have a legacy, and we want to have a legacy too,” Davis says.
Lawmakers are at least a couple of weeks away from considering any budget. Congress just started its spring break - and is not scheduled to resume until the week of April 8th.