Dems to McConnell: Stick to budget deal
© Greg Nash

Senate Democrats are urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Graham calls voting rights bill 'biggest power grab' in history The wild card that might save Democrats in the midterms 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 ReidBiden fails to break GOP 'fever' Nevada governor signs law making state first presidential primary Infighting grips Nevada Democrats ahead of midterms MORE (D-Nev.) and leading Democratic Sens. Dick DurbinDick DurbinOvernight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 COVID-19 long-haulers press Congress for paid family leave Joe Manchin keeps Democrats guessing on sweeping election bill MORE (Ill.), Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar MORE (N.Y.), Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayPublic option fades with little outcry from progressives Senate GOP blocks bill to combat gender pay gap OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden suspends Arctic oil leases issued under Trump |  Experts warn US needs to better prepare for hurricane season | Progressives set sights on Civilian Climate Corps MORE (Wash.) and Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiHarris invites every female senator to dinner next week Will the real Lee Hamiltons and Olympia Snowes please stand up? Bottom line 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.