On Thursday evening, House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the budget deal crafted by Republican congressman Paul Ryan and Democratic senator Patty Murray, chairs of their respective budget committees.
The resolution passed with 332 votes for it and 94 votes against it. Sixty-two Republicans voted against the bill, which had the support of House leadership.
Every single U.S. senator is expected later today to have to vote on whether the federal budget should be balanced, senior Senate aides tell me. The vote will be for support of an amendment to the Democratic budget, which is currently not balanced, and which will be debated on the Senate floor today, calling for it to be balanced.
The Democratic budget, released yesterday by Senate Budget Committee chair Patty Murray, passed out of committee this evening on a party line vote, 12-10. In response, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, Jeff Sessions, released this blistering statement:
The Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee claims the budget released today by Senate Democrats will raise taxes by $1.5 trillion. Before being released today, it had been reported that the Democrats' budget would raise taxes by $1 trillion, but number appears to have been far enough.
The minority side of the Senate Budget Committee releases this chart to back up its claim:
In advance of Senator Patty Murray, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, releasing a budget next week, which is expected to happen Wednesday, Republicans have written a letter to ask for sufficient time to read, debate, and amend the budget. The letter is signed by all ten Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee, and addressed directly to Murray.
“The fundamental question for you is not how we got here, but where you want the country to go,” said Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, to the members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (or the supercommittee) today. “What role do you and your colleagues want the government to play in the economy?”
Senate majority leader Harry Reid picked his three representatives to the twelve congressional member supercommittee yesterday, selecting Max Baucus, John Kerry, and Patty Murray. The first two choices make sense: Baucus is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Kerry was the Democratic nominee for president in 2004 and, as his website describes, "holds senior positions on the Finance, Commerce, and Small Business Committees."
Every time you think Harry Reid can't be even more crassly political and partisan, you're proven wrong. He's now appointed Patty Murray—chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC)—to be co-chair of the new deficit supercommittee.
As the Pennsylvania Senate race tightens, so does the race in Washington. McClatchy reports:
With two weeks to go, the Washington state U.S. Senate race is a virtual dead heat, with Democratic Sen. Patty Murray holding a 1-point lead, 48-47 percent, over Republican challenger Dino Rossi among likely voters, according to a McClatchy-Marist poll released Tuesday.