Tuesday: Senate stuck on 2013 spending, House starts 2014 budget

That would put the Senate on track to spend most of the week on the 2013 spending bill. That's not what the Senate had in mind — Democrats were hoping to quickly finish off the spending bill and complete work on the 2014 budget before breaking for two weeks.

ADVERTISEMENT
No one has said it out loud, but there's some chance the Senate could delay budget work until the week of April 8, when it returns.

On Monday, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) twice warned of weekend work to finish everything this week, before the break. But those sorts of warnings are often heard and seldom carried out.

Also, the Senate doesn't technically have to finish the 2014 budget this week. The major pressure on the Senate is to pass a budget by April under the No Budget, No Pay Act that passed earlier this year, which would withhold the pay of senators if no Senate budget is passed by April 15.

Under that schedule, the Senate could break for the next two weeks, as planned, then return the week of April 8 and finish the budget. But as of Monday, Democratic leaders had made no noises about any delay until April.

The Senate starts work at 10 a.m.; leaders may indicate then the progress of the talks on the 2013 spending bill.

The picture in the House is not nearly as complicated. Members will meet at 10 a.m. for speeches, and then at noon they will work on the rule for the GOP's 2014 budget from Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

Monday evening, the Rules Committee approved a rule that calls for four hours of debate, and also allows debate and votes on five alternative budgets.

Those budgets are from the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Democratic Caucus and the Republican Study Committee — the fifth is the Senate's budget proposal.

The rule also allows consideration of H.Res. 115, which sets the budgets for House committees for the 113th Congress. Once the rule is approved, the House is expected to move to that resolution and pass it.

More in Senate

Tuesday: No Child Left Behind, financial services

Read more »