By Alexander Bolton - 04/14/11 04:42 PM EDT
Senate leaders expect a bipartisan budget deal reached late last week to easily pass the upper chamber Thursday afternoon.
Democrats are by-and-large happy the spending agreement does not cut the Head Start early education program or slash Pell Grants — although it would eliminate summer Pell Grants.
“We have no reduction in Pell Grants and we kept a lot of our other priorities in there. There will be no reductions in Head Start,” he said, noting that the summer grants would be eliminated, something President Obama proposed in his budget plan.
Some Democrats, including Sens. Ron WydenRon WydenPuerto Rico debt relief faces serious challenges in Senate Senate panel delays email privacy vote amid concerns Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns MORE (D-Ore.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownDems to Clinton: Ignore Trump on past scandals Sanders: Clinton with a moderate VP would be a 'disaster' The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Ohio), have concerns over the legislation, but the opposition within the Democratic Caucus is not strong.
“It’s not significant,” Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinDems to Clinton: Ignore Trump on past scandals How airport security lines got so bad Dem senators call for sanctions on Congo MORE (D-Ill.) said when asked about the number of potential defections. “We have a number of senators we’re still talking to.”
A senior Senate GOP aide predicted that five to 10 conservative lawmakers might vote against the deal, including Sens. Rand PaulRand PaulLibertarian ticket will get super-PAC support Overnight Energy: Trump outlines 'America First' energy plan in North Dakota Overnight Regulation: GOP slams new Obama education rules MORE (R-Ky.), Mike LeeMike LeeMeet the billionaire donor behind Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Overnight Cybersecurity: Guccifer plea deal raises questions in Clinton probe Senate panel delays email privacy vote amid concerns MORE (R-Utah) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).
The aide said the compromise would have more than enough votes to pass.
The House is expected to pass the compromise, which cuts about $38 billion from 2011 spending levels, Wednesday afternoon.
Senate aides expect the House to send the package to the Senate for consideration between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Wednesday.