AP: “The bill that passed the House on Thursday, and awaits Senate action, is a tiny step forward, Bixby said. ‘But you can’t get that excited if your kid brings home a D because it wasn’t an F,’” said Bill Bixby of the Conord Coalition.
Roll Call notes: “The Senate’s leaders have reached an agreement that will bring to an end days of round-the-clock sessions following a series of noon votes.” The schedule is as follows: Jeh Johnson’s nomination as secretary of Homeland Security Monday, Budget Tuesday, defense bill Wednesday.
National Journal: “With the budget drama heading into its final act in the Senate on Tuesday, tensions surrounding the fate of the two-year deal are dissipating, with Republicans signaling they will not block the measure. Leery of saying how they would vote before the House overwhelmingly approved the deal on Thursday, Senate Republicans opened up on Friday. GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona said they would vote for cloture, and others indicated they're considering it.”
But Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said Sunday it didn’t have the votes yet. “The struggle is still on in the United States Senate; we will need about eight Republicans to come our way,” he said on CBS’s Face the Nation.
Count Ron Johnson (R-WI) as supporting it.
And it’s going to be a busy week in the Senate in addition to the budget deal: “The year-end spotlight will shine on the Senate this week as it considers final passage of the two-year budget deal, as well as confirmation votes on Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve Board and Jeh Johnson to lead the Homeland Security Department,” National Journal writes. “Other items already passed by the House will also reach the Senate floor, such as an annual policy bill for the Pentagon and legislation to extend the existing farm bill through January to allow for continued negotiations on a new, long-term version.”
Just because there’s a budget deal, doesn’t mean there won’t be fiscal fights to come on, for example, the debt ceiling. Paul Ryan told FOX: “We, as a caucus, along with our Senate counterparts, are going to meet and discuss what it is we want to get out of the debt limit. We don’t want ‘nothing’ out of the debt limit. We’re going to decide what it is we can accomplish out of this debt limit fight.”
The debt limit was suspended until Feb. 7, so mark your calendars.
My bad… “John McCain doesn't regret his criticism of President Obama's handshake with Cuba's Raul Castro, but is taking back a metaphor,” USA Today writes. “Days after likening the Obama-Castro handshake to the 1930s dealings between British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and Germany's Adolf Hitler, McCain told CNN on Sunday: ‘Oh, I think it was gross exaggeration.’”
Nuclear option? Blame Republicans, James Oliphant says: “Republicans are caught in a bizarro universe largely of their own making. Had Mitch McConnell shown any willingness to give even an inch on nominations, particularly on the three picks for the federal appeals court in Washington, there would have been no filibuster rule change.”
First published December 16 2013, 6:13 AM