Last week, the House of Representatives passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (BBA), and the Senate is scheduled to take it up tomorrow. The compromise legislation might face a more difficult passage in the Upper Chamber than it did in the House, which passed it 332-94. According to CCN’s vote count on Monday, 36 Senators have pledged to vote for it, whereas 20 are officially opposed, although other sources offer slightly different vote counts. Thus far, the confirmed no votes are coming from Republicans. Senator Dick Durbin, the Democratic Whip, said they need about eight Republicans to ensure a successful cloture vote, although not all Republicans who vote for cloture would necessarily have to vote for final passage. Republicans who are voting against this bill have often said that they will decline to support it either because its effect on military pensions or because it defers spending cuts (which they say will be repealed) and raises revenues. In an effort to ensure passage of this bill, Speaker of the House John Boehner and Representative Paul Ryan, chairman of both the House Budget Committee and the budget conference committee, have reportedly been personally reaching out to Senate Republicans to persuade them to support the bill.
And when Representative Ryan is not persuade his colleagues of the merits of the budget deal, he’s working on the next big project: tax reform. He and Senator Patty Murray, the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee who was the Vice Chairman of the budget conference committee, appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, and said that they hoped the two parties could come to some kind of accord on updating the Federal tax code. Although they both agreed on the necessity of tax reform, they differed on how to use any additional revenues the government brings in.
And for our latest blog post: Flattening the Rules: The Implications of the Senate Nuclear Option