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Senate Passes Non-Binding “Budget” in “Vote-a-Rama” and Amendment-palooza


On Friday, however, Senate Democrats stood up and voted for almost a trillion dollars more in tax hikes – and that’s on top of the tax hikes in the fiscal cliff deal. That’s about $375 billion more in tax increases than even Obama has been asking for lately. Republicans always said Senate Democrats needed to show the American people where they stand on the budget, and now, they have. To the GOP’s disappointment, it’s to the left of Obama, and far from them. [Wonk Blog]

DID YOU see the list of amendments on the Senate budget passed late Saturday morning? That it passed is a political miracle. Senator Patty Murray, but also Majority Leader Reid, got it through with enough Democratic support, even with those blue dogs up for reelection voting against it.

One of the biggest winners was the Keystone XL pipeline, and Obama’s medical device tax was scrapped.

Too big to fail banks got slapped with a 99-0 vote that sent a message that even if you have $500 billion you aren’t too big to fail. This vote means absolutely nothing and is wholly political.

An earlier assessment on Murray’s budget from Ezra Klein:

Sen. Patty Murray’s budget, by contrast, is both a more liberal and a more traditionally conservative document. Where Ryan sees the deficit as an opportunity for historic change, Murray treats it as an economic problem that requires a modest set of spending cuts and tax increases to solve. Where Ryan’s proposed deficit-reduction path is fast and severe, Murray moves slowly and cautiously. Where Ryan wants to remake the state and balance the budget, Murray just wants to stabilize and reduce the debt. – Ezra Klein

Some details on the non-binding Senate budget, which no Republican voted for, from the Washington Post:

The Senate plan, by contrast, includes $100 billion in upfront infrastructure spending to bolster the economy and calls for special fast-track rules to overhaul the tax code and raise $975 billion over 10 years in legislation that could not be filibustered. Even with that tax increase and prescribed spending cuts, the Senate plan would leave the government with a $566 billion annual deficit in 10 years, and $5.2 trillion in additional debt over that window.

“The first priority of the Senate budget is creating jobs and economic growth from the middle out, not the top down,” Ms. Murray said. “With an unemployment rate that remains stubbornly high, and a middle class that has seen their wages stagnate for far too long, we simply cannot afford any threats to our fragile recovery.”

The House won’t budge, with Senate committee rangling sure to be the same as it’s always been.

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