Budget resolution: Everything or nothing?

"What we are doing, Mr. Speaker, is not real," said McGovern, who also charged that Republicans are setting up a Tuesday vote in order to counter President Obama's State of the Union Address tomorrow.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) seemed to agree with Republicans that the resolutions are significant, but in the context of criticizing them. Frank said the budget resolution is a "major piece of legislation," but lamented that House Republicans are not considering it under an open rule that would allow amendments. When Dreier said no amendments were submitted to the Rules Committee, Frank insisted that at least three were submitted by Democrats, which were rejected.

Frank said the process unfolding today and tomorrow is "procedurally outrageous," and said Republicans should include possible cuts to military spending. Dreier replied by saying ultimately open rules would be used to consider cuts across a wider spectrum of programs.

Rhetoric aside, a vote on the rule is expected at sometime after 6:15 p.m. tonight, and a vote on the underlying resolution is expected on Tuesday. Once passed, the resolution will call on Ryan to set spending levels for FY 2011. After that, the House Appropriations Committee will use those levels to write a continuing resolution, which will then be voted on by the House.

Dreier was pressed during the debate on how much spending levels would be cut, but said only that Republicans would not propose equal "across the board" cuts to all programs. This admission only led to more criticism from Democrats that some programs would have to be cut more than others.


—Updated at 6:10 p.m.