Senate Has Enough Votes to Pass Budget Deal This Week

Monday, 16 Dec 2013 07:49 PM

By Cynthia Fagen

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The bipartisan budget proposal has enough votes to pass the Senate later this week, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The budget deal has already passed the House. The last remaining hurdle is strictly procedural, which is to end formal debate and proceed to a vote.

Supporters must have at least 60 votes to proceed to final passage of the legislation, written by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash.

If all 55 members of the Senate Democratic caucus vote "yes," they will need at least five Republicans to join them. But that does not seem to be in jeopardy.

On Monday, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, appeared to deliver the critical fifth Republican vote.

He said the budget 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. The reality is that Republicans only control one-half of one-third of government. Ultimately, this agreement upholds the principles conservatives stand for and, with Democrats controlling the White House and the Senate, it is the best we could hope for."

Several liberal Democrats also are unhappy that the budget agreement fails to extend unemployment insurance to millions of out-of-work Americans.

Some Republicans who might otherwise oppose the bipartisan budget deal will vote yes in order to avoid another government shutdown.

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