WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 (Xinhua)-- U.S. House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday dismissed criticism from some conservative groups which attacked the newly announced bipartisan budget deal before it was unveiled.
"You mean the groups that came out and opposed it before they even saw it," Boehner said, in response to a question about the conservatives' opposition against the budget deal crafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray.
"They're using our members and they're using the American people for their own goals. This is ridiculous. Listen, if you're for more deficit reduction, you're for this agreement," he said at a news conference after a closed meeting with his House colleagues Wednesday morning.
The deal, which was officially announced late Tuesday, sets spending levels above 1 trillion dollars for the next two fiscal years while replacing part of the automatic spending cuts with some spending savings.
Ryan, who also attended the news conference, called the deal he negotiated with Murray "a step in the right direction for fiscal discipline."
"By having a budget agreement that does not raise taxes, that does reduce the deficit and produces some certainty and prevents government shutdowns, we think is a good agreement," he told reporters, as the House is planning a vote on the deal.
Eric Cantor, the No. 2-ranking House Republican, also voiced support for the accord, saying it accomplishes deficit reduction without raising taxes.
Boehner also said he would consider extension of the unemployment benefits, an issue not included in the deal but pushed by Democrats, "as long as it is paid for and as long as there are other efforts that will help get our economy moving once again."
"I have not seen a plan from the White House that meets those standards," he noted.
Without congressional action, the federal unemployment benefit program will expire at the end of December and an estimated 1.3 million Americans would lose the federal government-funded benefits.