Senate passes budget after late-night ‘vote-a-rama’


Senators rammed through a whopping 101 amendments and took 70 roll call votes in a late night “vote-a-rama” session that lasted until 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., joined Weekends With Alex Witt to discuss how the Senate passed its first budget in four years.

“The good news is we have a budget from the Senate,” he said, later admitting that passage through the House of Representatives will be a difficult political task.

The budget plan, proposed by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, only narrowly passed by a 50-49 vote. The blueprint seeks to raise almost $1 trillion in new tax revenue through closing loopholes and tax breaks on the wealthy. It also aims to reduce the deficit by $1.85 trillion over the next 10 years through the revenue and additional spending cuts.

As Reuters reports:

The Senate budget, which reflects Democratic priorities of boosting near-term job growth and preserving social safety net programs, will square off in coming months against a Republican-focused budget passed by the Republican-dominated House of Representatives.

Neither of the non-binding blueprints has a chance of passage in the opposing chamber, leaving Congress no closer to resolving deep differences over how to shrink U.S. deficits and grow the economy. But they give each party a platform from which to tout their respective fiscal visions.

Under the House plan, proposed by former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, Republicans seek to earn $4.6 trillion in savings over 10 years without raising taxes.

Notably missing from the Senate all-nighter was an amendment on the assault weapons ban, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had said previously would not be brought to the floor for a vote–at least for now.

Blumenthal, who hails from the state that suffered the Newtown shooting tragedy in December, voiced optimism for future gun control measures once the Senate reconvenes after Easter. “There’ll be an amendment that will include this measure to ban assault weapons and also high capacity magazines, remember the shooter in Newtown and Tucson and many of these other horrific tragic massacres were able to use clips that held 30 or more rounds,” he said.


Senate passes budget after late-night 'vote-a-rama'