Wednesday: No Budget, No Pay in the House

The bill gets its name from language that would withhold congressional pay if Congress fails to pass a budget. That's part of a GOP effort to get the Senate to engage in the process of setting a budget, something the Senate has not done for nearly four years.

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The House will start with debate and vote on the closed rule, which allows no consideration of amendments. After that, members will debate the bill itself, and are expected to approve it in the early afternoon.

Several Republicans have said they would not vote for the bill because it suspends the debt ceiling without making any spending cuts. But the bill should pick up support from a substantial number of Democrats, allowing it to pass in the House.

The Senate meets at 9:30 a.m., but has no votes scheduled on Wednesday. The most immediate item before the Senate is the House-passed Hurricane Sandy relief bill, which was the subject of some debate Tuesday and is likely to be discussed again today.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday referred to the need to pass a Sandy bill. But he only addressed it generally, and did not offer a specific timeline or plan for taking up the House bill.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) indicated Tuesday that the Senate is still assessing how it can move on the House bill, since it's different from a bill the Senate passed late in the 112th Congress.

"The House can sometimes get away with sending things over here with only the Republicans voting for it and no Democrats, but over here we can't get anything done unless it is done with all of us together," she said. "It is just a different set of rules in the Senate, so we have had to work very hard."

Despite Landrieu's assessment, the House bill was passed in a bipartisan vote, and largely on the strength of Democratic support for the bill. Every Democrat but one supported the House bill, H.R. 152, and Republicans opposed it 49-179.