The Senate turned away a handful of Republican amendments on Friday as Democrats worked to win approval of their budget for the first time in four years.
More than 400 amendments have been filed to the budget, but Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidFreedom Partners Action Fund launches ad buys in Wisconsin, Nevada Trump: 'I'd have to think about' Cruz for Supreme Court Reid: Judiciary a 'rubber stamp' for Trump-McConnell MORE (D-Nev.) said Friday he’d seek to limit debate to between 25 and 35 of them in a "vote-a-rama."
On paper, Democrats can only afford five defections on the climactic budget vote, which is expected either late Friday or early Saturday morning. But Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) has been ill and is not working today, which means Democrats can only afford four defections. His office said Friday he is available to vote on the budget if he is needed
Four of those senators — Mark PryorMark PryorEx-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood Ex-Sen. Landrieu joins law and lobby firm MORE of Arkansas, Mark BegichMark BegichEx-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium Dem ex-lawmakers defend Schumer on Iran MORE of Alaska, Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampReid: Judiciary a 'rubber stamp' for Trump-McConnell oil is changing the world and Washington GOP blocks Obama sanctions czar MORE of North Dakota and Max BaucusMax BaucusWyden unveils business tax proposal College endowments under scrutiny The chaotic fight for ObamaCare MORE of Montana — said Friday they remained undecided on the bill.
“We’ll see how it looks and how it’s amended,” said Pryor, a top target of Senate Republicans.
Other undecided Democrats to watch include Sens. Kay HaganKay Hagan10 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2016 Senate Republicans are feeling the 'Trump effect' Washington's lobby firms riding high MORE (D-N.C.) and Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellyDemocrats block energy spending bill over Iran amendment GOP blocks Obama sanctions czar Indiana GOP divided over Senate primary MORE (D-Ind.). Hagan is also up for reelection in 2014, and her office said Friday she is still undecided.
Begich was pushing Friday for amendments totaling $400 million in spending cuts including to defense and agriculture.
There have been some signs that Democrats will be able to pass their budget.
Only one Democrat — Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinWest Virginia Dem defends Clinton support despite coal remarks Reid: Judiciary a 'rubber stamp' for Trump-McConnell Bill Clinton heckled in W.Va. MORE (D-W.Va.) — broke ranks to support a key GOP motion on Thursday night. The motion simply called for Democrats to rewrite their budget so that it balanced within 10 years.
The entire Democratic Caucus also rejected a GOP amendment to replace the budget's tax reform instructions, which raises $975 billion in revenue, with instructions to complete revenue-neutral tax reform.
Senators agreed to hold six amendment votes at around noon, including three from Republicans that fell in 45-54 party-line votes.
As expected, the Senate turned away language from Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzCruz makes energetic push to the end Cruz praises Obama’s basketball abilities Jim Gilmore misses delegate slot for Cleveland MORE (R-Texas) that would repeal the 2010 healthcare law. Repeal language would match the language found in the GOP budget the House passed on Thursday, but the Democratic Senate killed it 45-54.
Another GOP amendment, from Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteGOP women push Trump on VP pick John Bolton PAC pours more cash into GOP campaigns Dem campaign arm: Poll numbers slipping for vulnerable Republicans MORE (R-N.H.), would prevent a vote on any budget plan that calls for increased taxes when the unemployment rate is above 5.5 percent. The Senate killed her idea 45-54.
And a proposal from Sen. Mike CrapoMike CrapoBipartisan effort seeks end to budget gimmicks Republicans mum on possibility of Trump filling Supreme Court seat Senate approves first amendments to energy bill MORE (R-Idaho), which would repeal the tax increases from the healthcare law, was also shot down 45-54.
The House did accept three Democratic amendments, including two that had support from Republicans. They would allow Congress to pass a law protecting women against paycheck discrimination and protect lower-income Americans from tax hikes. The first one was approved by voice vote.
Approval of amendments, however, does not change U.S. law, as they are simply amendments to a non-binding budget resolution. Thus, Thursday's approval of an amendment calling for an end to the medical device tax will not result in the actual repeal of that tax.
Reid and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty MurrayPatty MurrayOvernight Healthcare: Medicare fight looms on Capitol Hill Senate GOP hardening stance against emergency funding for Zika Overnight Healthcare: More trouble for Zika funding MORE (D-Wash.) say their plan would reduce the deficit by $4 trillion.
But it includes nearly $1 trillion in new taxes that could be difficult for some centrist Democrats to support. And because the Democratic budget turns off the sequester's automatic spending cuts, Republicans argue it would increase spending over the next decade.
The House approved its own budget on Thursday. It would lower tax rates while reducing spending by $5.7 trillion, and would balance in 10 years.
The two budgets are unlikely to be reconciled, but will serve as messaging vehicles for both sides, particularly as the White House works with Congress on a possible deficit-reduction deal in conjunction with raising the debt ceiling this summer.
--This report was updated at 3:45 p.m.