Dems to McConnell: Stick to budget deal
© Greg Nash

Senate Democrats are urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSenate confirms first nominees of Trump era The new Washington elite schmoozes over lunch Trump takes first official acts at signing ceremony MORE (R-Ky.) to stick to a two-year budget agreement and avoid any partisan landmines that could grind the Senate to a halt. 

Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThe DC bubble is strangling the DNC Dems want Sessions to recuse himself from Trump-Russia probe Ryan says Trump, GOP 'in complete sync' on ObamaCare MORE (D-Nev.) and leading Democratic Sens. Dick DurbinDick DurbinJustice requires higher standard than Sessions Warren burns Mnuchin over failure to disclose assets Trump Treasury pick to defend foreclosure record MORE (Ill.), Chuck SchumerCharles SchumerDemocrats and the boycott of Trump's inauguration The Hill's 12:30 Report Why Democrats fear a successful inaugural address from Trump MORE (N.Y.), Patty MurrayPatty MurrayWarren burns Mnuchin over failure to disclose assets Warren: GOP ‘ignored’ ethical requirements for Cabinet picks Overnight Healthcare: Takeaways from Price's hearing | Trump scrambles GOP health plans MORE (Wash.) and Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiThe Hill's 12:30 Report Senate swears in new members Van Hollen lands seat on Banking Committee MORE (Md.) sent a letter to McConnell saying that he should urge committees to stick with spending levels outlined in last year's Bipartisan Budget Act. 
 
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"A product of painstaking negotiation and compromise, the BBA established a bipartisan framework for Congress to move forward on annual funding bills based on the principles of full and fairly allocated funding, a rejection of poison pill riders, and parity between the Pentagon’s needs and other needs here at home," they wrote in the letter released Monday. 
 
They added that because of the deal, senators can start work on individual appropriations bills without waiting for the Senate to pass another budget. 

McConnell said that he was "glad" that Democrats supported moving the appropriations bills quickly. 

"Earlier this year, I asked the Appropriations Committee to accelerate their work so that we can be ready to consider individual bills as soon as mid-April," he added. 

The letter from Democrats came as Sen. Mike EnziMike EnziDem senator: DeVos ‘sends shivers down the spine’ Trump Education pick: States should decide on allowing guns in schools Schumer puts GOP on notice over ObamaCare repeal MORE (R-Wyo.), who chairs the Budget Committee, announced earlier Monday that he was holding off on a budget resolution amid disagreements in the House over spending cuts. 
  
McConnell told reporters earlier this year that Republicans would make “a major effort” to pass a budget. The Senate Republican leader also spoke last week in a closed-door meeting with House Republicans, where he urged them to stand by last fall's agreement with President Obama. 
 
House Republicans have been battling for weeks on a budget blueprint and are struggling to reach a consensus. 
 
McConnell has repeatedly suggested that his top goal for 2016 is to pass the 12 individual spending bills through "regular order." Enzi on Monday argued that the Senate can pass appropriations bills even without a budget resolution because the top-line spending numbers were set in last year’s budget deal.
 
Top Democrats added in their letter that they support McConnell's strategy, calling it a "win-win," but warned that lawmakers will be in a "race against a Senate calendar that is unusually abbreviated."  
 
- Updated at 2:28 p.m.