By Vicki Needham - 01/23/13 11:59 PM EST
Republicans are hoping the bill gives Congress a few months to find a longer-term debt-ceiling agreement that includes significant spending cuts.
So, guess what? Senate Democrats on Wednesday said they will move a budget resolution through the their panel and eventually to the Senate floor for the first time in four years. We've really missed that vote-a-rama.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the top Republican on the Budget Committee, commended Democrats for agreeing to do a budget resolution.
Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidNevada's Heck won't say who he's backing for president GOP groups ride to rescue in 3 key Senate races Obama seeks down-ballot gains after being midterm loser MORE (D-Nev.) said his chamber plans to get the House-passed bill done as soon as possible, while at the same time trumpeting victory in the long-running battle over the debt ceiling.
Reid deemed the fight over the debt limit settled, and said the GOP can no longer use it as leverage for future spending fights.
We'll see how that all pans out.
“It will set the precedent for future debt-ceiling extensions that we’ll have to have,” Reid said. “By passing this bill, the Republicans are joining Democrats to say we will not hold the full faith and credit of the United States hostage. We will pay the bills that we have incurred.”
Meanwhile, a group of senators introduced their own bill that, in contrast to that of the House, cancels pay if a budget and 12 individual appropriations bills have not been passed by Oct. 1. No retroactive pay is provided.
Sen. Dean HellerDean HellerGOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election More Senate Republicans pressure Treasury over debt-equity rules Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears MORE (R-Nev.) is the lead sponsor, and was joined by Sen. Joe ManchinJoe Manchin5 takeaways from the Pa. Senate debate Trump questions hound endangered Republican Dems to McConnell: Pass 'clean' extension of Iran sanctions MORE (D-W.Va.).
WHAT ELSE TO WATCH FOR
Convention spending: Sens. Tom CoburnTom CoburnRyan calls out GOP in anti-poverty fight The Trail 2016: Words matter Ex-Sen. Coburn: I won’t challenge Trump, I’ll vote for him MORE (R-Okla.) and Mark UdallMark UdallColorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open Energy issues roil race for Senate Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium MORE (D-Colo.) are planning to introduce a bill that would prohibit the use of taxpayer money for the Democratic and Republican nominating conventions.
They introduced similar legislation in the last Congress and it passed 95-4 as an amendment. The House passed a similar measure to end future federal funding of political conventions, but a final bill never materialized.
“Congress has tough decisions on deck that must be made in order to rein in our unsustainable debt and deficit, and this is one bipartisan step forward in the right direction," Coburn said.
"At a time when we’re working to trim all unnecessary spending, it is a no-brainer for taxpayers to stop footing part of the bill for these large, expensive events," Udall said.
No earmarks, no cry: Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillMcCaskill offers Trump 'Mean Girls' advice Trump's taxes bump Miss Universe from headlines Dem on NYT report: Trump 'walks away with a golden ticket' MORE (D-Mo.) will reintroduce legislation on Thursday that would permanently ban congressional earmarks.
Toomey and McCaskill led the charge two years ago for a temporary, two-year moratorium.
With that time period up, they are now looking to permanently ban all earmarks, define earmarks as any congressionally directed spending item, limited tax benefit, or limited tariff benefit and create a point of order against any legislation containing an earmark. The point of order would only apply to the actual earmark, rather than to the entire bill, and require a two-thirds vote to waive the point of order.
Doing the rounds: Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew made the rounds on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, chatting with senators about his next career step.
Lew, who headed up the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and is President Obama's chief of staff, met with Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee: Sens. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchThe holy grail of tax policy GOP lawmakers ask IRS to explain M wasted on unusable email system GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election MORE (Utah), Rob PortmanRob PortmanVulnerable House freshmen passed most bills in decades, analysis finds Republican opposition to raising the minimum wage Is crumbling Trump: 'Very disappointed' GOP senator dropped support MORE (Ohio), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonIs Georgia turning blue? GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Dems seek cash to expand Senate map MORE (Ga.) and John CornynJohn CornynPotential Cruz challenger: 'Don't close off your options' Report: Investor visa program mainly funds wealthy areas GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election MORE of Texas.
Lawmakers are still waiting on paperwork from Lew, including a questionnaire and tax returns, before deciding when to set up a confirmation hearing.
Spin cycle: Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownSanders warns Clinton: Don't rush to compromise with GOP Dem senator praises US steel after car crash Lobbying World MORE (D-Ohio) applauded on Wednesday a unanimous decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to impose duties on clothes washers from South Korea and Mexico.
Brown testified last month before the ITC on behalf of Ohio workers at Whirlpool, which has facilities and distribution centers in several Ohio cities.
"Today’s victory will improve the competitiveness of Whirlpool and manufacturers around the United States," he said.
"The USITC made the right decision today in standing up against unfair and illegal trade practices."
The ITC ruled that unlawful pricing by Samsung and LG had caused injury to the U.S. clothes washer industry.
"The actions taken today by the U.S. government represent a great victory for the U.S. appliance industry, especially for our employees and consumers," said Marc Bitzer, president of Whirlpool.
"We expect this ruling will restore a level competitive playing field that enables Whirlpool and other U.S. manufacturers to continue investing in America to produce the high-quality, innovative products that consumers deserve."
Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, a former U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), also praised the ruling.
"I was pleased that the ITC has properly ruled to protect Ohio workers and will provide a more level playing field with their overseas competitors who were found not to obey U.S. trade laws," he said.
Initial Claims: The Labor Department releases its weekly filings for jobless benefits.
Mortgage Rates: Freddie Mac is releasing weekly data on fixed-rate mortgages, which have been hovering around historic lows.
Leading indicators: The Conference Board will release a batch of previously announced economic indicators for December: new orders, jobless claims, money supply, average workweek, building permits and stock prices.
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
— Financial Services leaders kick off new Congress with spat over 'too big to fail'
— IMF: Modest economic growth in 2013
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