Reid wants to start the 50-hour clock on budget while still considering CR

Reid warned that if a senator objected to his motion, the Senate will likely have to work through part of their Easter/Passover recess. 

ADVERTISEMENT
“There will be no more talk of not having a budget,” Reid said. “We’re going to have one before we leave here for recess.”

On Monday, the Senate voted to end debate on the continued spending resolution negotiated by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and ranking member Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). Unless an agreement is reached to vote on amendments and final passage, the next vote on cloture will be on Wednesday and then final passage would be Thursday.

Reid said he hopes to complete work by end of day Tuesday on the Senate spending bill, which sets the same spending levels as a government funding measure approved by the House last week. But the Senate bill adds three full appropriations measures to the House version. The House bill, H.R. 933, funded Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs programs, while the Senate version adds appropriations for Agriculture, Homeland Security and the Commerce, Justice and Science funds.

The Senate budget resolution requires 50 hours of debate and then unlimited germane amendments can be offered before final passage. 

Democrats say their budget cuts the deficit by $1.85 trillion over 10 years through an equal amount of tax revenue and spending cuts, but the GOP has said because it assumes the sequester will not happen, the amount of deficit reduction is closer to $700 billion.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) criticized the budget as "extreme."

"The Senate Democrat budget was one of the most extreme, most unbalanced pieces of legislation we’ve seen," McConnell said Tuesday. "One that would never balance – ever – and one that would have devastating consequences for the middle class."