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On Lack of Senate Budget, Iowa Dem Cries 'Filibuster'

5:29 PM, Mar 4, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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Democratic representative Bruce Braley is running for the Iowa Senate seat being vacated by fellow Democrat Tom Harkin, but he might want to learn how the upper body functions first. In an interview on a local news station, Braley was asked about why the Senate has not passed a budget in nearly four years.

"How is that possible? One word," Braley replied. "The filibuster."

Braley blamed Senate Republicans for holding up business by imposing a 60-vote supermajority on moving forward on the debate. "[It's] incredibly frustrating to everyone in the House, Democrat and Republican," he said. "And I know it's incredibly frustrating to Senator Harkin."

But it doesn't all add up. The problem is, budgets can't be filibusters. They only need the support of a simple majority to pass because Senate rules explicitly exempt all budgetary matters from that 60-vote threshold.

The real reason the Senate hasn't passed a budget in over three years is that the Democratic majority hasn't written a budget. They also have voted down (unanimously, in some cases) budgets proposed by the House of Representatives and President Obama.

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