Senate vote unlikely this week on Rep. Ryan's House budget resolution

A Senate vote on the House budget resolution authored by Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanOcasio-Cortez top aide emerges as lightning rod amid Democratic feud Juan Williams: GOP in a panic over Mueller House Republicans dismissive of Paul Ryan's take on Trump MORE (R-Wis.) “probably” won’t happen this week, a Democratic aide told The Hill on Monday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Webb: Questions for Robert Mueller Steyer's impeachment solution is dead wrong MORE (D-Nev.) has vowed to force a vote on the Ryan budget in part because Democrats see a political advantage in getting Senate Republicans to go on the record supporting a resolution that calls for turning Medicare into a type of voucher system.

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Democrats hammered House Republicans on the vote during the two-week recess that just ended.

Reid said on the Senate floor Monday that the Senate will first deal with a small-business bill and then with subsidies for oil companies before turning to the Ryan budget.

Cutting Medicare spending to balance the federal budget is highly unpopular with voters, according to a new poll conducted for The Hill. Fifty-three percent of likely voters oppose any cuts, and 14 percent were unsure.

Decisions on the timing of the budget votes were to be made at a leadership meeting Monday, one aide said.

The Senate has been focused on a small-business bill that is being held up by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). She is demanding a vote on an amendment designed to change the way regulations affecting small businesses are issued.

The Ryan budget vote will be difficult for centrist Republicans. Already, Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsHillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp Trump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout MORE (R-Maine) has said she does not support the plan, which also cuts Medicaid and welfare.

Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Dems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Senate passes bill making hacking voting systems a federal crime MORE (R-Ky.) vowed to force a potentially embarrassing vote on President Obama’s 2012 budget proposal, which the president has cast aside in favor of deeper deficit cuts.

A Republican aide said that vote would come when Democrats bring some budget resolution to the floor.

In a deal earlier this year, Reid agreed to allow a more open amendment process on the Senate floor in exchange for a reduction in holds and filibusters from the minority. 

That deal is being threatened by Snowe’s fight with Reid, an aide said.

An ugly Ryan budget vote could also complicate bipartisan talks by the Gang of Six, which is striving to release a deficit-reduction proposal this month.

Concord Coalition Executive Director Bob Bixby said that if Republicans take the Ryan budget vote seriously, it could damage the Gang of Six talks.

The Ryan plan eschews tax increases and largely exempts the military from spending cuts, and the vote could push Republicans into embracing that approach.

In this partisan atmosphere, Republican “gang” members Sens. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Worries grow about political violence as midterms approach President Trump’s war on federal waste American patients face too many hurdles in regard to health-care access MORE (R-Okla.), Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Sanders mounts staunch defense of 'Medicare for All' | Biden, Sanders fight over health care heats up | House votes to repeal ObamaCare 'Cadillac Tax' | Dems want details on fetal tissue research ban Hillicon Valley: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency plan | Trump vows to 'take a look' at Google's ties to China | Google denies working with China's military | Tech execs on defensive at antitrust hearing | Bill would bar business with Huawei Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency at hearing MORE (R-Idaho) and Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissRepublicans say Democrats holding up disaster relief as 'Sandy payback' Ex-House Intel chair: Intel panel is wrong forum to investigate Trump's finances The Hill's Morning Report - Trump budget reignites border security fight MORE (R-Ga.) would be under pressure to vote for the Ryan plan and to stop negotiating, he said.

Bixby said, however, that he thinks the GOP will treat the Ryan vote as a “political stunt” and simply vote against it on procedural grounds. The GOP would argue that it is not a Senate-crafted budget resolution and Reid should not have the power to put a House budget on the floor, he said.

Steve Bell of the Bipartisan Policy Center said the Reid move “creates more scar tissue” in the Senate and will make raising the debt ceiling and coming to a bipartisan agreement more difficult. He said he can see Republicans voting against the Ryan budget on procedural grounds to avoid the tough vote, however.