The Democratic-controlled Senate hasn't passed a budget in 1,113 days and that is unlikely to change today. But senators are scheduled to vote on five different budget proposals, four of them proposed by Republicans.Senate Democrats did not agree to a budget of their own. There are a few interesting questions:
- How many Senate Republicans, if any, oppose the Paul Ryan budget from the left? There will be a few GOP senators who vote against it because it doesn't balance the budget fast enough. Will any say it goes too far?
- Does anyone vote for Barack Obama's budget? The president's budget failed to record a single vote in the House and looks likely to be shut out again in the Senate. Democrats will probably want to avoid a scenario where Republicans can subject the Obama budget to prolonged debate and amendments.
- How many votes will conservative alternative budgets by Rand Paul, Pat Toomey, and Mike Lee get? These senators have all pushed to balance the budget more rapidly than the Ryan plan. Will any of their alternatives gain any traction?
The biggest question is probably how long we can run the federal government without a real budget. My guess is we'll have to wait at least until after the November elections.
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