Senate Dems to move budget through committee for first time in four years

Senate Democrats on Wednesday said they will move a budget resolution through the Budget Committee and onto the Senate floor for the first time in four years.

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn Murray It's time to let Medicare to negotiate drug prices Ocasio-Cortez shares verse by the 'Congressional Destiny's Child' in promotion of new birth control legislation Ocasio-Cortez shares verse by the 'Congressional Destiny's Child' in promotion of new birth control legislation MORE (D-Wash.) said the decision had nothing to do with the House’s debt-ceiling bill, which would withhold senators’ pay if they failed to pass a budget by April 15. The "no budget, no pay" bill is scheduled for a vote on Wednesday.

“Senate Democrats plan to move on a budget resolution regardless of whether the House rolls this issue into their short-term bill to increase the debt limit,” Murray said.

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Murray has been silent about her plans since Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerUS women's soccer team reignites equal pay push Blue Dogs look to move forward on infrastructure project Democratic strategist says Republicans are turning immigration debate into 'political football' MORE (D-N.Y.) shifted course over the weekend and said Senate Democrats would produce a budget. Since then, it had been an open question whether the budget would be moved through the committee process, which can expose members to tough votes.

The Budget chairwoman said that Democrats are eager to contrast their budget with whatever the House produces.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanIndiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Indiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Inside Biden's preparations for first debate MORE (R-Wis.) last week committed to producing a budget that balances within 10 years, a feat that will likely require far deeper cuts to government programs than his last two budgets required. His last budget, which cut $5 trillion in spending and partially privatized Medicare, balanced in about 25 years.

“Democrats and Republicans spent the last year laying out our budget values and priorities on the campaign trail, and the American people went to the polls and strongly endorsed the Democrats' balanced approach that puts jobs and the middle class first, calls on the wealthy to pay their fair share, protects seniors and families and lays down a strong foundation for long-term economic growth,” Murray said.

Republican leaders claimed victory after Senate Democrats said they would accept the House's debt-ceiling bill.

"With the economy on the line for four years, Senate Democrats refused to pass a budget. With their paychecks on the line for one week, they came around," said Rory Cooper, spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorGOP faces tough battle to become 'party of health care' 737 crisis tests Boeing's clout in Washington House Republicans find silver lining in minority MORE (R-Va.).

Lawmakers who have pushed for a return to regular order on the budget also applauded Murray's decision.

“If Sen. Murray says we are going to move forward, that’s a huge victory,” said Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerThis week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary MORE (R-Nev.), who has introduced his own version of “no budget, no pay” legislation.

Conservative Democrat Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump takes heat for remarks on help from foreign governments The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump takes heat for remarks on help from foreign governments The Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle MORE (D-W.V.), a co-sponsor of Heller's bill, said he was “tickled to death” by Murray’s announcement.

Murray met with Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidImpeachment will reelect Trump Impeachment will reelect Trump Biden faces first crisis as front-runner MORE (D-Nev.) on Tuesday night to chart the path forward. In recent weeks she had been consulting with colleagues on whether to move through committee, which could be a difficult task.

The Budget Committee has deficit hawks like Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerTrump puts GOP in tough spot with remarks on foreign 'dirt' Trump puts GOP in tough spot with remarks on foreign 'dirt' Hillicon Valley: Tim Cook visits White House | House hearing grapples with deepfake threat | Bill, Melinda Gates launch lobbying group | Tech turns to K-Street in antitrust fight | Lawsuit poses major threat to T-Mobile, Sprint merger MORE (D-Va.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOn The Money: Pelosi says no debt ceiling hike until deal on spending caps | McConnell pressures White House to strike budget deal | Warren bill would wipe out billions in student debt | Senate passes IRS reform bill On The Money: Pelosi says no debt ceiling hike until deal on spending caps | McConnell pressures White House to strike budget deal | Warren bill would wipe out billions in student debt | Senate passes IRS reform bill Senate passes bipartisan IRS modernization bill MORE (D-Ore.) who are willing to cut entitlement benefits, and liberals like Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersKamala Harris rallies with McDonald's workers striking for higher wages Kamala Harris rallies with McDonald's workers striking for higher wages Playing fast and loose with the economic facts MORE (I-Vt.) who have ruled out any cuts at all.

Including Murray, there are 12 Democrats on the panel and 10 Republicans.

Murray needs a majority of those voting and present to move the budget forward, an aide said. She can afford one Democratic abstention but not a Democratic "no" vote, assuming all Republicans vote no.

Vulnerable Democrat Sen. Mark BegichMark Peter BegichFormer GOP chairman Royce joins lobbying shop Lobbying world Dem governors on 2020: Opposing Trump not enough MORE (Alaska), up for reelection in 2014, is no longer on the Budget Committee this year. Newcomers Angus KingAngus Stanley KingOn The Money: Economy adds 75K jobs in May | GOP senator warns tariffs will wipe out tax cuts | Trump says 'good chance' of deal with Mexico On The Money: Economy adds 75K jobs in May | GOP senator warns tariffs will wipe out tax cuts | Trump says 'good chance' of deal with Mexico Trump administration appeals ruling that blocked offshore Arctic drilling MORE (I-Maine) and Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineTexas raises age to purchase tobacco to 21 Texas raises age to purchase tobacco to 21 Democrats push to make national security a 2020 wedge issue MORE (D-Va.) are likely to bolster the deficit-hawk camp, while liberal Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinValedictorian says he was not allowed to use graduation speech to come out as gay Valedictorian says he was not allowed to use graduation speech to come out as gay Democrats highlight history-making LGBTQ lawmakers for Pride month MORE (D-Wis.) could prove to be to the left of Murray.

Democrats will be seeking higher revenue in the budget, but Republicans have said that more revenue is off the table following the “fiscal cliff” deal.

Murray said that now that the normal budget procedure is being taken up, Republicans need to stop using the debt ceiling and threat of government shutdown to try to get their way on spending.

“For years, congressional Republicans have used every crisis they could manufacture to litigate the federal budget outside the regular budget process without any regard for the impact of their actions on workers and the economy,” she said. “Republicans have time and again pulled budget negotiations out of the Budget Committees in ways that rattled the markets, hurt the economy and increased uncertainty.

“Republicans can either say they want to have a budget debate in the Budget committees, or they can say they would prefer to negotiate the issue lurching from crisis to crisis — but they can’t say both. It simply doesn’t make sense,” she said.

Republicans say that they have had to use the debt ceiling and continuing-resolution fights because the budget process has broken down.

Even if Senate Democrats manage to pass a budget, the chances of Murray’s resolution being reconciled with that of Paul Ryan in a conference committee appear slim at best.

This story was updated at 11:03 a.m.