12 Republicans Help Dems Preempt Filibuster on Budget Deal

Dec 17, 2013 12:27pm

The Senate inched closer to approving a bipartisan budget deal today when it cleared a procedural hurdle with the help of 12 Republicans.

The Senate voted 67 to 33 to prevent a filibuster on the budget agreement, which was brokered between Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Was.

“This bill isn’t exactly what I would have written on my own, and I’m pretty sure it’s not what Chairman Ryan would have written on his own,” Murray said on the Senate floor today. “It’s a compromise, and that means neither side got everything they wanted, and both sides had to give a bit.

“This bipartisan bill takes the first steps toward rebuilding our broken budget process.  And, hopefully, toward rebuilding our broken Congress. We’ve spent far too long here scrambling to fix artificial crises instead of working together to solve the big problems we all know we need to address.”

Twelve Republicans joined Democrats in voting to end debate on the bipartisan deal: Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah., John Hoeven, R-N.D., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Ron Johnson, R-Wis., John McCain, R-Ariz., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

McCain, Hatch, Isakson and Johnson have indicated they will support the entire deal, which only needs 51 votes to pass.

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the budget measure, which could help avert another government shutdown in January, with a vote of 332-94 last week. But the Senate vote, which is likely to occur Wednesday, is expected to closer as many Senate Republicans, including potential 2016 contenders, have come out in opposition to the deal.

“The new budget deal moves in the wrong direction: it spends more, taxes more and allows continued funding for Obamacare,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said last week. “I cannot support it.”

Added Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.: “I cannot support a budget that raises taxes and never balances, nor can I support a deal that does nothing to reduce our nation’s $17.3 trillion debt.”

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