Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) objected to Murray’s request. He said Republicans would agree only if the conference report would not be used to raise the debt ceiling or taxes.
On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) tried to get a unanimous consent agreement to appoint budget conferees as well. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) objected. Reid accused him of being a "schoolyard bully."
The Senate passed its first budget resolution in four years last month. Murray and her House counterpart, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), have been meeting about setting up a conference, but Democrats say House GOP members are dragging their feet because they’re afraid of a backlash from Tea Party elements within the GOP ranks.
The House-passed budget cuts $4.6 trillion in spending on top of the $1.2 trillion sequestration cuts already scheduled to take effect, and it balances in 10 years.
The Senate-passed budget has $975 billion in new taxes, does not balance, and turns off sequestration.