Senate passes a continuing resolution through September
posted at 6:01 pm on March 20, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
So… that’s exciting, I guess.
Senators voted 73 to 26 to approve the bipartisan budget legislation, which provides just over $1 trillion in budget authority, a level of spending which reflects the spending cuts stipulated by the budget sequester that took effect at the beginning of March.
Consideration of this Senate bill – known as a “continuing resolution,” or “CR” – had stalled in recent weeks due to objections from conservative Republicans who said they wanted to read the bill and offer amendments. Democrats finally struck an agreement with Republicans on those amendments on Wednesday, allowing a final vote on passing the spending package to move forward.
The legislation now heads to the Republican-controlled House, which could take up the bill as soon as Thursday. Though the GOP had already passed its own version of the CR from the House, indications point toward passage of the Senate version.
The legislation will fund the United States through the end of September, instead of the current March 27 deadline, granted the House’s and then the president’s approval. There’s been some speculation that the House could and should escalate the continuing resolution into a now-familiar standoff situation over deeper spending cuts and/or defunding ObamaCare, but it sounds like most members are pretty much okay with this approach and that they’re taking both the sequestration cuts and the lack of new taxes as a win for now.
Next stop, budgeting. Yay.
Passage allowed the upper chamber to immediately pivot to the budget offered by Senate Democrats, which, if approved, would be the first Senate budget in four years. Dozens of amendments are expected to be considered, but by moving to the budget on Wednesday, the Senate has a shot of completing its work before the weekend. …
Reid threatens to keep the Senate in session on the weekend, but rarely follows through. However, the threats this week were seen as realistic given his determination to not go into the recess without a budget. House Republicans are set to approve their budget Thursday, and Reid wanted to avoid a scenario where Democrats would be without a budget for a two-week recess.
ZOMG, Reid wanted to avoid a scenario in which Democrats would be without a budget, for any length of time, even if it is a budget that raises taxes and does nothing to address our out-of-control spending habits? My, that’s just so impressively fiscally responsible of him.