Reid May Force Ryan Budget Vote

April 25th, 2011 at 7:06 am | 11 Comments |

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The Hill reports:

Senate Democratic aides expect Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to force Senate Republicans to vote on the Paul Ryan budget plan.

Reid hasn’t made a formal decision yet, and won’t until he returns from an overseas trip.

The idea is to drive a wedge through the GOP caucus and put vulnerable incumbents such as Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) in a political jam.

Senate Democrats felt encouraged Friday after Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) emerged as the first Senate Republican to publicly oppose the House-passed budget blueprint, named after Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

“I don’t happen to support Congressman Ryan’s plan but at least he had the courage to put forth a plan to significantly reduce the debt,” Collins said on WCSH 6, a local NBC affiliate in Portland, Maine.

If Reid can show that a bloc of Senate Republicans will not support the dramatic spending cuts and sizable tax cuts passed by the lower chamber, it would help his negotiating leverage with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

After Reid struck a deal with Boehner earlier this month to keep the government funded for the rest of fiscal year 2011, a senior Democratic leadership aide said Reid felt his negotiating position was strengthened after the Senate rejected the House-passed spending cuts.

During the talks, Boehner had repeatedly argued that the House had passed a 2011 spending bill and the Senate had not passed an alternative and therefore Reid should move closer to the GOP position.

After Reid showed that the  $61 billion in cuts favored by House Republicans could not pass the Senate, Boehner made the argument less forcefully, according to a Democratic source that participated in the talks.

The Senate killed the 2011 spending bill by a largely party-line vote of 44-56 on March 9.

Reid has not announced whether he will bring the Ryan plan to the floor, one aide cautioned. Senate Democrats won’t know for sure until Reid has finalized his game plan and all Senate scheduling decisions rest with him alone.

Democratic leaders are waiting on a bipartisan negotiating group known as the Gang of Six to propose a long-term deficit reduction plan. That will give Democratic lawmakers a chance to vote on an alternative to the Ryan plan.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) is expected to introduce a Senate Democratic budget blueprint that may include the recommendations of the Gang of Six, depending on whether the group reaches a deal.

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11 Comments so far ↓

  • JeffreyGoldfarb

    The Democrats know that the Ryan plan is political poison. The more the Republicans commit to it, the better for the Democrats.

  • Smargalicious

    Reid is the poster boy for the Marxist welfare state that was once America.

    Thank God for Ryan and the people that can see our future.

    • Rob_654

      If you believe that Ryan is worth thanking God for, do you also support Ryan’s plan?

      If you do support Ryan’s plan – would you not be excited about Reid forcing Ryan’s plan to come up for a vote for Republicans to vote on so that they can show the way forward?

      • Smargalicious

        Reid is using his slim majority in the Senate to score points with the Marxist Obama voters.


        • balconesfault

          [b]Smargalicious // Apr 25, 2011 at 12:46 pm

          Reid is using his slim majority in the Senate to score points with the Marxist Obama voters.[/b]

          lol – so Reid is making sure Ryan’s budget gets a Senate vote because Democrats are Marxists?

          Are you just a non-sequiter machine? Is there any human who actually reviews the silliness that the Smarg routine shoots out on the web?

    • more5600

      Let’s see how many brave Republican Senators agree with Ryan and his plan…

    • armstp


      What are your views on gay people?

  • cporet

    I don’t see this as Forcing the vote. Isn’t this how it works? The house passes legislation and sends it to the Senate for a vote. You see it as forcing because it’s a toxic bill and it will call for conservatives to say yea or nay.

    • medinnus

      Precisely why its “forcing” – it makes the GOP look like idiots.

      • balconesfault

        There’s footage all over the internet of various GOP Representatives from solidly conservative districts getting berated by their constituents as they try to defend their vote for the Ryan budget.

        Might as well share the joy with their Senate counterparts!

  • gozo

    What? Republican senators would vote against Ryan’s plan for 2.8% unemployment in 2020? They must be insane.