McConnell hopes Dem budget isn't 'attempt to raise taxes'

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday that he hopes that Senate Democrats won’t try to use their budget resolution to raise taxes.

“It’s my hope that the Democrats’ sudden interest in passing a budget isn’t just another attempt to raise taxes. As I’ve said repeatedly, we’re done with revenue,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday morning. “Who would be in the firing line this time? At what cost? 


Thursday: Senate is in, schedule unclear

Assuming the half-inch of snow crippling the Washington, D.C., region doesn't lead to a government shutdown, the Senate reconvenes at 9:30 a.m. this morning.

As of late Wednesday, the Senate had no votes planned for Thursday. But Senate Democrats did hold out the possibility that some votes might occur. The main legislative issues before the Senate are two House-passed bills — one providing $50.7 billion worth of Hurricane Sandy relief (H.R. 152), and the other suspending the debt limit until mid-May (H.R. 325).


Whitehouse blames ‘deadly’ Tea Party and Hastert Rule for ‘dysfunction’

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) blamed the “toxic combination” of the Tea Party and the so-called Hastert Rule as the reasons for “congressional dysfunction” and unpopularity.

“For the regular order and business of government, the Tea Party/Hastert Rule combination is deadly for bipartisan Senate legislation,” Whitehouse said on the floor Wednesday.


Coons' election-reform bill incentivizes states to help non-English-speaking voters

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said Wednesday that he’s reintroduced his voting rights bill that would incentivize states to assist voters who don’t speak English, among other things.

Coons first introduced the Fair, Accurate, Secure and Timely (FAST) Voting Act after the November election, but no action was taken on the bill, so he's reintroduced it in the 113th Congress.


Vitter introduces bills setting term-limits, ending automatic pay increases

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) said Wednesday that he introduced bills that would place term limits on members of Congress and end their automatic pay raises.

“Not allowing individuals to remain in office for an eternity is an important step we need to take to restore confidence in Congress,” Vitter said on the floor Wednesday. “It won’t be the be-all and end-all for good government reform, but it would help us reconnect with the people.”


Sessions: Democrats aren't passing a budget 'out of the goodness of their hearts'

Senate Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said he looks forward to returning to regular order and passing a budget out of committee this year.

Sessions applauded Chairwoman Patty Murray’s (D-Wash.) announcement Wednesday that she would move a budget resolution through the Budget Committee and to the Senate floor for the first time in four years. But Sessions suggested that Democrats aren't going to pass a budget "out of the goodness of their hearts."


McConnell: Obama's 'hard-left' agenda would 'sink' country

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the path President Obama laid out at his inauguration would “sink” the United States and “turn us into Greece.”

“We can’t waste anymore time denying the reality that is staring each of us in the face,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “We need to do something about this spending addiction [because] it’s going to sink this country and turn us into Greece.”


Sen. Roberts' resolution reaffirms Congressional authority over debt limit

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) introduced a resolution Wednesday that would reiterate that only Congress has the authority to set and raise the debt limit.

“Today I introduce a resolution making it absolutely clear that Congress and only Congress has the authority and responsibility to set the debt limit,” Roberts said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “I shouldn’t even have to introduce this resolution.”


Reid warns that Senate rules will change with or without Republicans

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday that he is continuing work with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Senate rule changes this week.

“I’m going to continue to work with the Republican leader on a package of reforms that I hope we can agree on,” Reid said on the floor Wednesday. “If we can’t agree, we’re going to do something as a Democratic caucus alone.”


Senate leaders to continue negotiations on rule changes

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that he would continue to work with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in hopes of reaching an agreement on Senate rule changes.

“It is my intention that the Senate will recess today, rather than adjourn, to continue the same legislative day, and allow this important rules discussion to continue,” Reid said Tuesday morning. “I am hopeful the Republican leader and I will reach an agreement that allows the Senate to operate more effectively.”