Having clamored for a budget, Republicans have not been kind to the unveiling of the Democratic budget. They spent the last week arguing that Democrats were overstating the extent of deficit reduction in the budget by using a budget baseline that assumes the sequester is no longer in effect.
On the other side of the Capitol, the House will consider a budget from Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), which would slow the growth of government spending to save $5.7 trillion compared to the current baseline. It would also cut taxes and balance the budget in 10 years, components that make it sure to pass the GOP House.
One thing to watch will be how many Republicans defect. Last year, 10 voted against Ryan's budget, which passed 228-191.
This year, defections are more important because Republicans have a few less members — 10 GOP defectors would mean the GOP budget passes by about a dozen votes.
The House should be able to pass its budget by the end of the week, after dismissing alternatives from mainstream Democrats, the Republican Study Committee and possibly others.
The Senate is in more of a timing bind. Senators will start the week trying to finish work on the continuing resolution for 2013.
That could still take time, as the Senate left this week with dozens of amendments left to sort through. However, House Republicans said they anticipate getting back a Senate-amended CR, and passing it next week. Without a CR, government funding expires March 27.
Below is a more detailed look at the week ahead:
The Senate starts work at 2 p.m., and is hoping to be much closer to a deal, allowing it to pass the continuing resolution for the rest of 2013.
Senate Democrats have said that by 5:30 p.m., they will either hold a vote to end debate on the continuing resolution, or start voting on amendments. The Senate broke up on Thursday with dozens of amendment still up in the air, and said more time is needed to sort them out.
The House will meet in the afternoon to work on two suspension bills. H.Con.Res. 18 would authorize use of the Capitol grounds for the National Peace Officers' Memorial Service, and H.Con.Res. 19 would allow the grounds to be used for the Greater Washington Soap Box Derby.
The House will consider and pass the Ryan Budget, H.Con.Res. 25 (note, this new version includes some small technical corrections compared to a text we posted earlier). Early in the week, House Republicans will decide which alternative budgets can be considered in separate votes.
Also up will be a resolution, H.Res. 115, that would fund House committees for the rest of the fiscal year.
If the Senate has not finished the 2013 spending bill by Monday, it will be looking to do so Tuesday and then quickly jump to the 2014 budget. The House anticipates a possible vote on the Senate-amended CR during the week.
The Senate is in for the rest of the week, which will likely be occupied with the budget.
The House is out.
— This story was updated at 3:39 p.m. Saturday.