On Tuesday, the Senate will hold its first procedural vote on the Ryan-Murray budget deal. The odds of the deal passing increased significantly late Friday as GOP Sens. John McCain (AZ), Susan Collins (ME), Jeff Flake (AZ) and Richard Burr (NC) said they would join 55 Democrats to cut off debate and block a filibuster. Majority Leader Harry Reid needs just one more GOP vote to advance the deal to final passage.
“I’m not OK with it,” McCain said Friday, “but I think it’s better than shutting down the government.”
The prospect of shutting down the government isn’t on the table. The government’s spending authority doesn’t expire until January 15, 2014, leaving several weeks to seek changes to the deal.
“I will vote for cloture,” Collins added. “I’m still weighing [final passage] but I’m inclined toward it … The advantages of having a budget outweigh the reservations that I have.”
Whether or not Collins votes for final passage of the deal, a vote for cloture is effectively a vote to enact the Ryan-Murray budget.
Several other GOP Senators have also signaled they may back the deal, including Sen. Bob Corker (TN), Lisa Murkowski (AK) and John Hoeven (ND). Corker has said he wouldn’t support the final deal, but may vote to break any filibuster. Again, a vote for cloture is a vote for the final deal.
The Ryan-Murray deal looks set for relatively easy passage next week. The first session of the 113th Congress will end with a whimper, rather than a bang.