Local Politics

Patty Murray seeks top spot on budget committee

SEATTLE -  U.S. Patty Murray wants to be chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee.

The Seattle Times reports that Murray announced Thursday she would seek to succeed retiring Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.

Murray is currently the budget panel's second-most senior Democrat. She said she plans to give up her position as chairwoman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee in exchange, but will retain a seat on the committee.

The budget committee writes an annual blueprint for spending on education, housing, transportation and other discretionary spending by the federal government.

Murray, the No. 4 Senate Democratic leader, co-chaired the bipartisan deficit-reduction "supercommittee" in 2011 that failed to find ways to reduce federal red ink by $1.2 trillion over 10 years. She also sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee, which allocates money to discretionary programs.

Committee leadership posts will be finalized later this year.