By: Marilyn Assenheim
In a turnaround of conduct, the United States Senate may be able to trash the horrific budget bill that sailed through the House in a vote of 333-94. The House was responsible for delivering the Republican capitulation to Democrat strong-arming, giving House Democrats an early Christmas…um… “winter holiday” gift. All that was missing was the bow.
The bill, crafted by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Progressive Congressman Patty Murray (D-WA), contains reductions in the already-miniscule cutbacks to Washington spending. Ryan put together the ultimate Vichy-cave-in budget, citing bipartisanship as the ultimate good for the nation. The “budget” includes such goodies as raising the minimum wage. Despite The Lyin’ King claiming that raising the minimum wage would create “a million new jobs,” the evidence is overwhelming that such a tack would create economic devastation and guarantee further shriveling of the vanishing job market. Ryan, defending his monstrosity, suggested “…congressional Republicans will be more demanding of Democrats during the upcoming debit-limit talks.” Tougher? Really? Like Ryan was tough confronting Biden in the Vice presidential debates? We will experience another ice age before the House gets “more demanding” with Democrats. And Ryan is supposed to be savvy about finances?
But easing budget cuts on both sides of the aisle and raising the minimum wage is not what is giving the Senate unusual pause before automatically punting the leftist budget through the goal posts. According to FOX news what is forcing the appearance of reluctance are prospective budget cuts aimed at military retirees: “America’s veterans and military retirees suddenly have emerged at the center of the budget debate and could be the determining factor in whether the House-passed deal makes it through the Senate… Senate Republicans say the plan unfairly forces veterans to pick up the cost of new spending. The provision generating heated opposition from Veterans of Foreign Wars and allied lawmakers would cut retirement benefits for military retirees by $6 billion over 10 years.”
Many in the Senate are facing reelection bids in 2014 and the veterans’ fury is creating opposition that Senators are reluctant to confront. Despite Harry Reid changing the rules on how the Senate votes, passing the budget still requires a 60 vote supermajority. Despite a Democrat majority in the Senate (55 Senators), even a vote along strict party lines would be insufficient to pass a budget. The Senate will, according to Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), need to produce 60 votes twice. Senator Sessions alleged that he would force a “procedural filibuster” which is not the same thing as a “talking” filibuster: “They’ll need 60 votes on cloture and 60 votes on the budget point of order…” Although there are enough RINO’s in the Senate to swing a supermajority, Breitbart postulates that some Democrats may defect: “Reid may need more Republicans if liberals like Sens. Tom Harkin (D-IA) or Bernie Sanders (I-VT) oppose the deal because it does not extend unemployment benefits. Considering 32 Democrats voted against the deal in the House, it seems plausible Reid may lose at least one, maybe two Democrats in the Senate.” A test vote is scheduled in the Senate on 12/14.
The new deadline for passing a budget is January 15. If the Senate does not push the Murray-Ryan bill through, Congress would face another partial government shutdown. Perhaps this time Congress will have the stones to do it and give the rest of us a much needed respite.