WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Jack Reed today issued the following statement:

"I hoped for a more comprehensive agreement but this is an important step forward.  Commendably, this budget blueprint reduces economic uncertainty and blunts the impact of the sequester.  It will help save jobs, reduce unnecessary furloughs, protect vital programs like education from deep cuts, and should prevent another costly and wasteful government shutdown.

"However, I would have preferred closing corporate tax loopholes to restore investments in defense and education.  And I am most disturbed that negotiators refused to include help for the unemployed as part of their package.

"Congress needs to act fast to preserve unemployment insurance or 1.3 million American job seekers will suddenly be without a financial safety net in the new year.  Budgets are about priorities, and helping vulnerable families should be a bipartisan priority.

"Even as the nation's economy continues to recover, Congress must do more to help create new jobs and sustain economic revitalization.  I recently introduced the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2013 to stabilize the economy and provide relief for both states and struggling families by extending federal UI benefits through 2014.  Unemployment insurance is a critical lifeline for vulnerable families and our economy.  Preserving this program will help bolster consumer demand and provide some much needed economic certainty for businesses and families in need.

"While this agreement doesn’t solve every issue facing the country and it could certainly do more for the unemployed and the middle class, it’s at least a reversal of the governing by crisis method that some on the other side of the aisle have embraced in the past few years.”