Senate poised to approve budget

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The Senate is poised to approve the two-year budget deal on Tuesday, but the tally is not expected to match the landslide in the House.

The bill, which sets top-line spending levels for 2014 and 2015, is on track to just barely get the 60 votes it needs to clear the upper chamber.


Sixty votes are required to end debate on the measure. Only a majority is needed on final passage.

As of Monday, only seven Senate Republicans have said they would vote to end debate on the measure, which is opposed by Tea Party groups, the Club for Growth and Heritage Action. Those six members are Sens. Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissEffective and profitable climate solutions are within the nation's farms and forests Live coverage: Georgia Senate runoffs Trump, Biden face new head-to-head contest in Georgia MORE (R-Ga.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' Grant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Will Trump choose megalomania over country? MORE (Ariz.), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonHerschel Walker calls off fundraiser with woman who had swastika in Twitter profile Georgia reporter says state will 'continue to be a premier battleground' Critical race theory becomes focus of midterms MORE (Ga.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchLobbying world Congress, stop holding 'Dreamers' hostage Drug prices are declining amid inflation fears MORE (Utah), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsFunding for victims of 'Havana syndrome' to be included in Pentagon bill  The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Biden makes his pitch as tax questions mount Emanuel defends handling of Chicago police shooting amid opposition to nomination MORE (Maine), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake donating unused campaign funds to Arizona nonprofit focused on elections: report Biden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report MORE (Ariz.) and Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonA pandemic of hyper-hypocrisy is infecting American politics Sen. Ron Johnson hoping for Democratic 'gridlock' on reconciliation package Republicans' mantra should have been 'Stop the Spread' MORE (Wis.).

Most Senate Republicans are expected to vote against the bill, despite lobbying by Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Debt ceiling games endanger US fiscal credibility — again MORE (R-Ohio) and Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE (R-Ohio).

Ryan was whipping the vote by contacting members over the weekend and on Monday, his office said. BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Debt ceiling games endanger US fiscal credibility — again MORE spoke about the budget with several members, an aide said. 

GOP resistance means Democrats can’t afford many defections on their side.

If they win only six Republican votes, they can afford to lose only one of the 53 Democrats and two Independents who caucus with Senate Democrats.

As of Monday, liberal Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats face critical 72 hours Overnight Health Care — Presented by Altria — Manchin nixes Medicare expansion Manchin shutting down Sanders on Medicare expansion MORE (I-Vt.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownWhen the Fed plays follow the leader, it steers us all toward inflation Which proposals will survive in the Democrats' spending plan? Senate Democrats call for diversity among new Federal Reserve Bank presidents MORE (D-Ohio) had not decided how they would vote, and vulnerable centrist Sens. Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorBottom line Everybody wants Joe Manchin Cotton glides to reelection in Arkansas MORE (D-Ark.) and Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganInfighting grips Nevada Democrats ahead of midterms Democrats, GOP face crowded primaries as party leaders lose control Biden's gun control push poses danger for midterms MORE (D-N.C.) had not declared their position.  

The liberals were angry because unemployment benefits were not extended as part of the deal. 

The vote will probably be “a little bit closer that many of us would have liked,” Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by American Clean Power — Methane fee faces negotiations Democrats ready to put a wrap on dragged-out talks Sunday shows preview: CDC signs off on 'mix and match' vaccine boosters MORE (R-Va.), who supports the bill, acknowledged Monday on MSNBC. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats MORE (R-Ky.), as of Monday night, had not voiced a position on the bill but is widely expected to oppose it.

McConnell is up for reelection next year and is facing a primary challenge. Conservatives argue the budget deal would increase government spending by reversing $63 billion in sequester cuts over the next two years.

White House hopefuls, such as Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate GOP campaign arm outraises Democratic counterpart in September House passes bills to secure telecommunications infrastructure Senators call for answers from US firm over reported use of forced Uyghur labor in China MORE (R-Fla.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOn The Money — Democrats craft billionaire tax with deal in reach Rand Paul questioning if crypto could become world reserve currency The Senate is setting a dangerous precedent with Iron Dome funding MORE (R-Ky.) have come out against the deal, making a yes vote tougher for Senate Republicans.

That’s even made it tough for allies of Boehner.

Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrDemocratic incumbents bolster fundraising advantage in key Senate races McConnell gets GOP wake-up call Senate approves short-term debt ceiling increase MORE (R-N.C.), a former House member who is close to the Speaker, initially voiced support for ending debate, but he changed his mind Monday upon reviewing the bill. 

Burr blamed an obscure provision that prevents the minority from raising a point of order against tax increases under Senate rules.  

“After reviewing in detail the significant changes made to the Senate budget rules that would allow Senate Democrats to circumvent the 60-vote threshold in order to pass a tax increase or increase spending, I have determined I cannot support cloture on the agreement,” Burr said in a statement. 

Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability MORE (R-Ala.), the Budget Committee ranking member who was frozen out of the Ryan-Murray deal-making, is leading opposition to the deal and highlighting the provision.

A number of GOP senators could support cloture if their votes are needed. As of Monday, Boehner ally Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Biden backtracks on Taiwan Top GOP senators want joint review of Afghan visa process Timken rolls out six-figure ad campaign, hits Fauci MORE (R-Ohio) was still reviewing the deal, as was Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (R-Tenn.).

These members are generally considered more centrist than Hatch, who swung his support behind the bill on Monday.

“This agreement isn’t everything I’d hoped it would be, and it isn’t what I would have written. But sometimes the answer has to be yes,” Hatch said in a press release.

Isakson announced his support Monday and cited the fact it establishes a budget for two years instead of one.

“As a longtime advocate of biennial budgeting, I believe this bipartisan agreement is a good first step toward managing government spending and the fiscal policy of our country,” he said. 

The deal crafted by Ryan and Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayUnder pressure, Democrats cut back spending Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised Senate Democrats ditch Hyde amendment for first time in decades MORE (D-Wash.) paves the way for Congress to craft a $1.012 trillion omnibus spending bill over Christmas break. That bill would need to be approved by Jan. 16 to prevent a government shutdown.

It also sets the stage for Congress to pass 12 individual appropriations bills to the tune of $1.014 trillion by the end of the current fiscal year on Oct. 1.

To pay for ending $45 billion in sequester cuts this year and $18 billion in 2015, the deal contains cuts to mandatory spending and some user fees.

Federal retirement benefits for future employees were cut by $6 billion and military retirees face a $6 billion cut as well.  Airline passengers will see security fees rise from $2.50 to $5.60 per ticket under the deal and $28 billion in cuts to Medicare fees were put in place for 2022 and 2023. The deal also gets revenue from new oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and from higher premiums charged by the government arm that guarantees private sector pensions. 

— This report was updated at 6:23 a.m.