The Washington Times - December 11, 2013, 08:43AM

The head of Heritage Action for America said the spending deal struck between congressional budget negotiators is a win for President Obama and a loss for the nation.

Michael A. Needham criticized the bipartisan agreement that Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat, and Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, rolled out on Tuesday for increasing government spending over in the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years.

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“This is a significant achievement for the president, who believes that government spending is a panacea to America’s economic woes,” Mr. Needham said in a USA Today op-ed.

The two-year budget deal restores $63 billion of the across-the-board spending cuts to defense and non-defense programs. Mr. Ryan and Mrs. Murray also said it includes $23 billion in long-term deficit reduction.

It does not address the mandatory spending programs that are the biggest drivers of federal spending: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Mr. Needham criticized the deal for slapping new fees on air travel and for relying “upon promises of future cuts that the demise of the sequester vividly illustrates cannot be counted on.”

“Some are heralding the agreement as an indication politicians can put aside their petty differences and achieve something,” Mr. Needham wrote in USA Today. “In the coming days, members of Congress will have to explain to their constituents what exactly they achieved by increasing spending, increasing fees and offering up another round of promises waiting to be broken. That will be a tough sell back home.”

Heritage Action is political advocacy arm of the Heritage Foundation.