Congress: Budget deal set to pass

The budget deal is expected to pass the Senate today, but two big things were left out: unemployment benefits and the debt ceiling. And National Journal notes that Senators are already eyeing fixes, including cuts to military benefits.

To the point about the debt ceiling, The Hill and others note the coming fight over the debt ceiling which needs to be raised again by Feb. 7: “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday predicted a springtime fight will erupt over the debt ceiling because the GOP will make demands in exchange for increasing it. ‘I doubt if the House, or for that matter the Senate, is willing to give the president a clean debt-ceiling increase,’ McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, said. ‘The debt ceiling legislation is a time that brings everyone together and gets the president’s attention.’”

Just what might be pushing McConnell to feel this way so strongly? For one, his primary opponent told The Hill this: “I do not think we should increase the debt ceiling without significant concessions, and if one of them is the repeal of ObamaCare, then terrific.”

Johnny Drama? “If you like cable-news-style promos with cinematic background tracks, you’re going to love — or at least YouTube ‘favorite’ — Speaker John A. Boehner’s new video defending the House Republican record on jobs, energy, education and health care,” Roll Call writes. “ ‘The American economy, the greatest in the world, is stuck in a new normal: high unemployment, stagnant wages, slow growth,’ Boehner begins the video, with images reminiscent of President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 ‘Morning Again in America’ ad. ‘We can do better.’”

By a 66%-31% margin, an ABC/Washington Post poll finds people want to raise the minimum wage.

The Hill looks at the top 10 lobbying victories. Topping the list -- the NRA’s squashing new gun regulations post-Newtown.