NBC's Michael O'Brien: "The House of Representatives approved a modest budget agreement that would essentially forestall the threat of a government shutdown through late 2015 in a Thursday evening vote. The budget framework, which enjoys the support of President Barack Obama, passed in a 332 to 94 vote, an overwhelming show of bipartisan unity that trumped the token opposition from 62 conservative Republicans. The Senate could approve the legislation next week."
Washington Post: "After years of placating conservative groups that repeatedly undermined his agenda, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) took direct aim at some of his tea party critics Thursday, accusing them of working against the interests of the Republican Party. Calling the groups “misleading” and without “credibility,” Boehner pointed to the string of bipartisan deals that passed the House on its last legislative day of 2013 as the sort of “common ground” that should provide a new path for congressional work."
Roll Call: "In the end, 169 Republicans and 163 Democrats voted for the budget deal, which means that 62 Republicans and 32 Democrats — including the No 2. House Democrat, Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer — broke with party ranks and voted “no"...All of the Republicans who voted against the budget deal are members of the conservative Republican Study Committee, including Chairman Steve Scalise, R-La., except for five GOP members who don’t affiliate themselves with the committee but still gave the deal a thumbs-down."
The Hill:"Six of the seven House Republicans running for the Senate on Thursday voted against the budget deal....Reps. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.), top Republican Senate recruits who don't appear to face any threats in a primary, both voted against it, as did a trio of Georgia Republicans facing off in a crowded GOP primary: Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston. Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas), who just announced a primary challenge to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), also voted against the bill."
Politico looks at how Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) "quietly and methodically built a close relationship with a man long vilified by the White House and congressional Democrats: Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican and Mitt Romney’s running mate. But after private negotiations with each other, starting in the Senate dining room exactly a year ago and culminating after Murray’s tense talks with furious House Democrats, the two were able to do what seemed impossible in a gridlocked Congress: Reach a bipartisan budget accord."
National Journal: "[T]he reality is that the deal is likely to be very good news for Senate Republicans, particularly those who are worried about reelection next year. For once, they don’t have to be the adults in the room. That’s because most Senate Republicans can vote against the measure with impunity, knowing that it’s likely to pass with overwhelming support from Democrats and a smattering of their GOP colleagues in safe seats. Senate Republicans can publicly bemoan the shortcomings of the deal and complain that it doesn’t address entitlement spending and lacks a long-term blueprint to reduce the deficit. In short, they can sound just as exasperated with the budget agreement as their tea-party challengers and conservative critics."
The Hill: "Both sides in the immigration debate are watching" Boehner "closely after Thursday evening’s emphatic House vote in favor of a bipartisan budget deal. The calculus is clear in the minds of immigration-reform advocates. They believe that Boehner wants to get some kind of deal done on immigration, and any development that replenishes his political capital helps their cause."
New York Times: " If there is a rock bottom in the frayed relationship between Senate Republicans and Democrats, it seemed uncomfortably close as the final days of 2013 on Capitol Hill degenerated into something like an endurance contest to see who could be the most spiteful. As the sun rose on Friday, senators had worked through a second straight all-night session — called by Democrats as a way of retaliating for Republicans’ delaying tactics on confirmations. They held their first vote of the day at 7 a.m., confirming Deborah James to be secretary of the Air Force."
Washington Post: "An American man who disappeared in Iran more than six years ago had been working for the CIA in what U.S. intelligence officials describe as a rogue operation that led to a major shake-up in the spy agency. Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent, traveled to the Iranian island of Kish in March 2007 to investigate corruption at a time when he was discussing the renewal of a CIA contract he had held for several years. He also inquired about getting reimbursed for the Iran trip by the agency before he departed, according to former and current U.S. intelligence officials."
Charlie Cook: "Conventional wisdom holds that if people see the economy improving, they will be less likely to "throw the bums out" in the next year's elections. But the key is public perception of the economy, not month-to-month shifts in numbers. ...My hunch is that those analysts predicting that the new economic numbers will prompt a change in the political dynamics of 2014 are getting a bit ahead of their skis.
USA Today: "Ratings of the GOP match historic lows in a new USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll, but Republican voters are more optimistic than Democrats about how their party is going to fare in next year's congressional elections."
"Former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas has not been among the Republicans frequently named as a potential 2016 presidential candidate, but he would like that to change.' I’m keeping the door open,'" Huckabee told the New York Times' Jonathan Martin "Thursday night about the possibility of seeking his party’s nomination again. “I think right now the focus needs to be on 2014, but I’m mindful of the fact that there’s a real opportunity for me.”
LOUISIANA: The Democratic Senate Majority PAC is launching a new TV ad hitting Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) as "part of the problem in Washington." The ad, titled "Problem" says the GOP Senate hopeful "is part of the problem by voting to shut down the government 16 times, to raise the retirement age to 70, and to raise Medicare costs $6,000 a year."