Dems to McConnell: Stick to budget deal
© Greg Nash

Senate Democrats are urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellJuan Williams: Trump’s policies on race are more important than his rhetoric It’s Mitch McConnell’s Washington – and we’re just living in it Trump makes new overtures to Democrats MORE (R-Ky.) to stick to a two-year budget agreement and avoid any partisan landmines that could grind the Senate to a halt. 

Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSenate heads home to campaign after deal on Trump nominees GOP has always been aggressive in trying to weaponize the system of judicial nominations Republicans come full circle with Supreme Court battle to the end MORE (D-Nev.) and leading Democratic Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDurbin opposes Saudi arms sale over missing journalist Noisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? Kavanaugh tensions linger after bitter fight MORE (Ill.), Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerFive takeaways from the final Tennessee Senate debate Schumer rips Trump 'Medicare for all' op-ed as 'smears and sabotage' GOP senator suspects Schumer of being behind release of Ford letter MORE (N.Y.), Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care: House passes funding bill | Congress gets deal on opioids package | 80K people died in US from flu last winter Wilkie vows no 'inappropriate influence' at VA Dems push back on using federal funds to arm teachers MORE (Wash.) and Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiAthletic directors honor best former student-athletes on Capitol Hill Dems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee Robert Mueller's forgotten surveillance crime spree MORE (Md.) sent a letter to McConnell saying that he should urge committees to stick with spending levels outlined in last year's Bipartisan Budget Act. 
 
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"A product of painstaking negotiation and compromise, the BBA established a bipartisan framework for Congress to move forward on annual funding bills based on the principles of full and fairly allocated funding, a rejection of poison pill riders, and parity between the Pentagon’s needs and other needs here at home," they wrote in the letter released Monday. 
 
They added that because of the deal, senators can start work on individual appropriations bills without waiting for the Senate to pass another budget. 

McConnell said that he was "glad" that Democrats supported moving the appropriations bills quickly. 

"Earlier this year, I asked the Appropriations Committee to accelerate their work so that we can be ready to consider individual bills as soon as mid-April," he added. 

  
McConnell told reporters earlier this year that Republicans would make “a major effort” to pass a budget. The Senate Republican leader also spoke last week in a closed-door meeting with House Republicans, where he urged them to stand by last fall's agreement with President Obama. 
 
House Republicans have been battling for weeks on a budget blueprint and are struggling to reach a consensus. 
 
McConnell has repeatedly suggested that his top goal for 2016 is to pass the 12 individual spending bills through "regular order." Enzi on Monday argued that the Senate can pass appropriations bills even without a budget resolution because the top-line spending numbers were set in last year’s budget deal.
 
Top Democrats added in their letter that they support McConnell's strategy, calling it a "win-win," but warned that lawmakers will be in a "race against a Senate calendar that is unusually abbreviated."  
 
- Updated at 2:28 p.m.