'The Daily Show's' John Oliver Celebrates the Budget Deal

Some are calling it a “Christmas miracle,” but most can see the agreement reached by congressional negotiators after four years of living in a budget-less country is much ado about nothing. Except senior political correspondent John Oliver, who argues that the bipartisan budget is comparable to the Civil Rights Act.

For Democrats and liberals, according to Truthdig columnist E.J. Dionne, the compromise has failed to account for their greatest concerns as it “leaves the jobless out in the cold, because it doesn’t extend unemployment benefits, and provides little room for new initiatives to combat rising inequality and declining upward mobility.” And conservatives, without even reading the compromise reached by Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray, are already attacking it by denouncing Ryan’s “capitulation” as socialism (somebody should really tell Republicans to look that word up).

And while host Jon Stewart generously calls it a “moderate” plan, in which neither tax cuts nor entitlements are touched, Oliver insists that given how high the tensions have been in Washington, this deal is “everything we’ve been waiting for.” After a few arguments about popular film interpretations, the British comedian finally gets his point across that after all the insults exchanged between the parties, after a government shutdown that cost taxpayers $24 billion, and a stalemate that has come to characterize the 113th Congress as the most unproductive in American history, a pact has finally been reached that will avoid another government shutdown. That’s reason enough to rejoice, according to him.

The highlight of the clip comes when Stewart skeptically asks, “Will there even be enough votes for this?” “Oh yes,” replies Oliver, claiming many representatives have a much more powerful incentive to pass the deal than simply restoring some functionality to the government: their wives’ threats.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

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