Budget Deal Spares Vulnerable Sen. Dems from Taking Tough Votes

Budget Deal Spares Vulnerable Sen. Dems from Taking Tough Votes

The budget deal that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) brokered last week and passed in the House will make it easier for four vulnerable Senate Democrats from red states to get re-elected.

According to The Hill, the deal absolves them from having to make tough votes on a potential budget resolution. 

As The Hill noted, because the Ryan-Murray budget “sets a top-line budget number for 2015, Democrats won’t have to write and pass a budget resolution in the midterm election year.”

As a result, vulnerable Democrats in the Senate like Mark Pryor (D-AR) (pictured, top-right), Mark Begich (D-AK) (bottom-left), Kay Hagan (D-NC) (bottom-right), and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) (top-left), who are all facing tough re-election battles, will not be forced to take difficult votes on a budget resolution. Such votes “would have made it easier to defeat those candidates next fall and take control off the Senate in 2015.” Republicans, for instance, could have forced these Democrats to vote on “many aspects of” Obamacare in ways that would not have been in line with voters in their respective states. 

Senate Democrats had not even passed a budget in four years until they did so this spring. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) argued that “budget caps in the 2011 Budget Control Act law meant no resolution was legally necessary.” Republicans had insisted Reid’s reasoning was wrong then and would still be wrong if he did the same to avoid another budget vote. 

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the ranking member of the Budget Committee who has already said the Ryan-Murray deal was “not a budget” because budget conferees were never consulted, said the Senate “should do a budget every year, and the Budget Control Act was used as an excuse, and it was a poor excuse.”

Sessions told The Hill that the budgetary process is the “only time in the entire legislative process by which individual senators can get a vote on an amendment they care about because this unprecedented filling of the tree keeps anybody from getting an amendment.”

Last Friday on Mark Levin’s radio show, Sessions said the budget deal also weakens the “point of order” rules to make it easier for Democrats to tax and spend. Sessions told Levin that he felt House Republicans did not understand the significance of the change, and since Sessions and his staff were never informed of the rule change, he did not have the opportunity to explain the significance of the rule change to House Republicans.