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CBS Hails 'True Compromise' on Budget; Hypes Opposition from 'Some Conservatives'

Nancy Cordes heralded the proposed budget deal from Rep. Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray as a "true compromise" on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, and asserted that "the reason it's so important is that it could bring an end to this terrible cycle, where Congress can't agree on a yearly budget." Cordes also revisited her network's slanted language about sequestration, stating that the proposal "partially rolls back those deep, across-the-board spending cuts."

The correspondent also played up how "the agreement won't win support from some conservatives," and that "there are bound to be some conservatives who don't like it." She didn't use such ideological labeling in reference to opposition from liberals. Instead, Cordes merely noted that "many Senate Democrats...don't think the deal's perfect, but they can live with it." [MP3 audio available here; video below]

Anchor Charlie Rose teased the journalist's reports by trumpeting the "rare compromise in Congress – the budget deal that could break years of gridlock." Cordes led the segment with her "true compromise" and "terrible cycle" terms. She soon added that "the deal sets government funding levels at just over $1 trillion for 2014 and 2015 – right between what Democrats and Republicans wanted", and continued with her "deep, across-the-board spending cuts" phrase.

However, the CBS journalist didn't explain that this $1 trillion figure is actually just the discretionary spending portion of the federal budget. The total size of the federal budget was $3.45 trillion in fiscal year 2013, and President Obama originally requested $3.78 trillion for fiscal year 2014. She also omitted that the $1 trillion proposal is a spending hike, up from $967 billion under sequestration.

Cordes used her "some conservatives" labeling later in the segment:

NANCY CORDES (voice-over): The agreement won't win support from some conservatives, who think sequestration cuts should be bolstered – not replaced. Florida's Marco Rubio blasted the deal, saying – quote, 'This budget continues Washington's irresponsible budgeting decisions by spending more money than the government takes in.'

Ryan, who like Rubio, is considered a possible presidential contender in 2016, argued the deal is just a first step.

REP. PAUL RYAN, (R), WISCONSIN (from press conference): As a conservative, I deal with the situation as it exists. I deal with the way things are – not necessarily the way I want them to be.

CORDES (on-camera): Ryan will be briefing the entire House Republican Conference on this deal later this morning. There are bound to be some conservatives who don't like it. They will want more cuts. But he says, in the end, he feels that he will get healthy support. And already, Norah and Charlie, many Senate Democrats are weighing in – to say they don't think the deal's perfect, but they can live with it.

The CBS correspondent could have included that liberal Congressman Adam Schiff criticized the Ryan-Murray proposal on Tuesday's Crossfire on CNN, but she didn't do this.

The full transcript of Nancy Cordes' report from Wednesday's CBS This Morning:

CHARLIE ROSE: Congress may be ready to call a truce in its ongoing budget wars. Negotiators have reached a two-year spending agreement. Their next step is a vote in the House later this week.

NORAH O'DONNELL: And if it's approved, the budget deal would prevent another showdown in January, like the one in October that shut down part of the government.

Nancy Cordes is on Capitol Hill this morning. Nancy, good morning.

NANCY CORDES: Norah and Charlie, this is a true compromise – the kind we don't see in Congress very often. And the reason it's so important is that it could bring an end to this terrible cycle, where Congress can't agree on a yearly budget. And so, they fund the government in fits and starts – setting up showdowns every few months.

[CBS News Graphic: "Budget Breakthrough: Congressional Negotiators Reach Bipartisan Deal"]

CORDES (voice-over): Defying expectations, Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Patty Murray announced they had reached a deal Tuesday, after two months of negotiations.

REP. PAUL RYAN, (R), WISCONSIN (from press conference): This agreement makes sure that we don't have a government shutdown scenario in January. It makes sure that we don't have another government shutdown scenario in October. It makes sure that we don't lurch from crisis to crisis.

CORDES: The deal sets government funding levels at just over $1 trillion for 2014 and 2015 – right between what Democrats and Republicans wanted – and it partially rolls back those deep, across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration.

SEN. PATTY MURRAY, (D), WASHINGTON (from press conference): This bipartisan deal will help millions of Americans who were wondering if they were going to keep paying the price for D.C. dysfunction.

CORDES: Sequestration cuts will be replaced with a combination of cuts to less-critical government programs, and hikes in user fees for some government services – like the TSA fee that's tacked onto airline tickets.

President Obama called the deal a good sign, and congressional leaders from the right and left gave it their blessing.

SEN. HARRY REID, (D), NEVADA (from speech on Senate floor): It was a compromise. We didn't get what we wanted. They didn't get what we – what they wanted.

CORDES: The agreement won't win support from some conservatives, who think sequestration cuts should be bolstered – not replaced. Florida's Marco Rubio blasted the deal, saying – quote, 'This budget continues Washington's irresponsible budgeting decisions by spending more money than the government takes in.'

Ryan, who like Rubio, is considered a possible presidential contender in 2016, argued the deal is just a first step.

RYAN: As a conservative, I deal with the situation as it exists. I deal with the way things are – not necessarily the way I want them to be.

CORDES (on-camera): Ryan will be briefing the entire House Republican Conference on this deal later this morning. There are bound to be some conservatives who don't like it. They will want more cuts. But he says, in the end, he feels that he will get healthy support. And already, Norah and Charlie, many Senate Democrats are weighing in – to say they don't think the deal's perfect, but they can live with it.

ROSE: Nancy, thanks.

— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.