Tags: senate | gop | blocks | reid | budget

Senate GOP Blocks Reid on Budget Conference

Tuesday, 23 Apr 2013 10:15 PM

By Matthew Auerbach

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On Tuesday, Senate Republicans blocked a move by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to form a budget conference, the Hill reports.

Republicans say there is no basic framework for the talks that would help both parties reach agreement.

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., objected to Reid’s plan of having the Senate unanimously agree to create a budget conference committee that would attempt to mesh the radically different House and Senate budget proposals.

Toomey said he was making his objection on behalf of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who wasn’t able to attend.

Sessions is the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.

Republicans are of the mind that before a committee is formed, both parties should agree to a framework for the talks, believing that will make a deal more likely.

Conversely, Democrats say Republicans are avoiding a public conference on the budget on the premise that it would highlight their opposition to tax hikes on the wealthy.

Reid said that, considering the GOP’s calls for a return to regular order, Republican opposition to forming a conference committee is nothing short of hypocritical.

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., have had talks regarding setting up a conference, but Democrats say House Republicans are purposely stalling the process.

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said there should at least be an agreement in place between Ryan and Murray before a conference is held.

“To go to conference before you have any sense of whether there is any chance of getting an outcome strikes us as not making much sense,” McConnell said.

Reid said last week that no prior agreement is necessary to proceed with regular order.


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