Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Blocks Quick Budget Deal
A last-second vote helped pass the new federal budget bill through the House of Representatives late Thursday evening, but the Senate still has to give its approval before it can land on President Obama’s desk. With the clock ticking down, a deal to quickly send the bill to the Oval Office failed, resulting in the possibility that the upper chamber might not get the job done before the government runs out of money at midnight on Saturday.
Reports state that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to force a quick Friday afternoon vote to send the CR-Omnibus budget to the President to be signed into law, but Republican Senators Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Jeff Sessions wanted Reid to agree to allow a vote to defund Obama’s amnesty plans before they would agree to vote for the budget.
A senior Capitol Hill aide noted that a quick end to Senate deliberations was blocked when Harry Reid refused to allow any vote on defunding Obama’s amnesty. Reid’s refusal, the staffer said, has become an “ongoing problem.”
The aide went on to assure Breitbart News that “Senate conservatives will consider any tactical means to achieve their ends” to put a halt to Obama’s amnesty.
Republicans, though, were not the only ones making tough demands on Reid. Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren demanded that Reid strip out financial deregulation provisions in the budget the House passed. Reid was reluctant to agree to that, as well.
This failed Friday deal has pushed the budget debate into a Saturday session. But Reid has a whole list of things–including some of Obama’s nominees–that Democrats want dealt with before they lose the majority to the incoming GOP victors of November’s midterm election, and the budget bill will likely come only after some of these items are dealt with on Saturday.
With the long list of deals that Reid wants handled first, the Senate could run out of time before the budget comes up for discussion.
In fact, the schedule for the vote, released by the GOP’s nascent Majority Leader, Kentuckian Mitch McConnell, shows that the Senate will not get to the budget bill until 1 p.m. on Sunday, with a final vote for passage scheduled for 7 a.m. Monday morning.
In the meantime, the Senate plans to pass a temporary continuing resolution to keep the government funded until Wednesday.
All this, however, assumes that the long schedule of work that Reid is putting ahead of the budget debate goes smoothly, allowing the budget to come up as scheduled–a prospect that does not seem to be such a sure bet.