Senate Passes $3.7 Trillion Budget, Its First in 4 Years
After an all-night debate that ended just before 5 a.m., the Senate on Saturday adopted its first budget in four years, a $3.7 trillion blueprint for 2014 that would provide a fast track for passage of tax increases, trim spending modestly and leave the government still deeply in the red a decade from now.
The roll call voting records for the amendments to the budget resolution were placed on a table at the Senate Press Gallery.
The 50-to-49 vote in the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, sets up contentious — and potentially fruitless — negotiations with the Republican-controlled House in April to reconcile two vastly different plans for dealing with the nation’s economic and budgetary problems. No Republicans voted for the Senate plan, and four Democrats opposed it: Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Begich of Alaska and Max Baucus of Montana. All four are from red states and are up for re-election in 2014.
“The Senate has passed a budget,” Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the Senate Budget Committee chairwoman, declared at 4:56 a.m.
The House plan ostensibly brings the government’s taxes and spending into balance by 2023 with cuts to domestic spending even below the levels of automatic across-the-board cuts roiling federal programs now, and it orders up dramatic and controversial changes to Medicare and the tax code.