Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2015

Could Democrats Work Around the ‘Budget Bullies’?

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOP senators have rebuffed attempts to secure unanimous consent to get to conference, most recently Tuesday when McConnell objected to a request by Murray, above. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Democrats and Republicans continue to spar over the budget process, there’s more than meets the eye to the battles on the Senate floor.

Democrats contend that their GOP counterparts are blocking the move to convene a House-Senate conference committee to work out details of the fiscal 2014 budget resolution after spending years decrying the failure of Senate Democrats to adopt such a resolution.

Past guidance from the parliamentarian’s office would indicate that a move to go to conference cannot be filibustered, multiple sources familiar with Senate rules and precedents said, but there are unresolved complications about debate time and the possibility of a lengthy sequence of votes that could rival a budget “vote-a-rama.” In other words, Democrats might be able to work around GOP objections to getting to a conference on the budget but not without expending a fair amount of time and energy.

GOP senators have rebuffed multiple attempts to secure unanimous consent to get to conference, with the most recent occurrence Tuesday when Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., objected to a request by Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash.

“Some Republicans say they want to negotiate a ‘framework’ behind closed doors before going to conference, but that is what a budget really is, a framework that lays out our values and priorities and helps us plan for our country’s future,” Murray said. “And I think that framework is exactly what we ought to be debating in a formal and public conference, and there’s no reason to wait.”

Monday evening, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, objected after Reid denied his request to only agree to a conference that allows no increase in taxes.

Reid thought this was akin to changing the rules of the game after the game was over, and he went so far as to call Cruz a “schoolyard bully.” Reid’s staff didn’t shy away from the characterization, actually posting the exchange on YouTube.

“Republicans refuse to play the game unless we let them win. And, like schoolyard bullies, if Republicans can’t win, they will take the ball and go home,” Reid said Tuesday. “But this latest stunt is a nonstarter.”

Reid then suggested that the House GOP is afraid of public budget negotiations. But if the Republican minority couldn’t filibuster the budget resolution, then why couldn’t Reid just call a vote?

One Democratic aide said that the decision either way would require an opinion from the Senate parliamentarian, calling it “absurd” that this process debate is even a possibility since requests to get into budget conferences are often handled by unanimous consent.

The fact is that questions about how this process works might raise new questions about flaws in the 1974 Budget Act that was designed to expedite consideration of congressional budgets.

The law itself specifies, “Debate on any debatable motion or appeal related to the conference report (or a message between Houses) shall be limited to 1 hour,” which past parliamentary guidance has said would be the relevant standard.

G. William Hoagland, a former GOP staff director of the Senate Budget Committee and now a senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said he has discussed this matter in the past and come away with the belief that you couldn’t filibuster going to conference on a budget resolution.

Even then, there’s always the possibility Democrats could face other procedural complications that make such votes unrealistic. Plus, Reid is trying to get consent to insert the text of the Senate’s budget resolution into the “shell” of the House’s budget resolution, which could create additional hurdles.

Comments (30)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    11:09 a.m.

    Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with SEO? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good results. If you know of any please share. Kudos!

  2. Anonymous

    July 6, 2015
    6:42 p.m.

    You can certainly see your enthusiasm within the paintings you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

  3. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    4:56 p.m.

    As I web-site possessor I believe the content material here is rattling wonderful , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Good Luck.

  4. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    11:13 p.m.

    Hiya, I am really glad I have found this information. Today bloggers publish only about gossips and net and this is actually irritating. A good blog with interesting content, this is what I need. Thank you for keeping this site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Cant find it.

  5. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    10:26 a.m.

    Good write-up, I am normal visitor of one?¦s web site, maintain up the nice operate, and It is going to be a regular visitor for a lengthy time.

  6. Anonymous

    July 11, 2015
    10:12 a.m.

    I would like to thnkx for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog. I’m hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing skills has encouraged me to get my own web site now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a great example of it.

  7. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    2:59 p.m.

    great points altogether, you simply gained a brand new reader. What would you suggest in regards to your post that you made some days ago? Any positive?

  8. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    1:03 p.m.

    Very interesting details you have noted, thankyou for putting up. “Custom is the great guide of human life.” by David Hume.

  9. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    2:38 p.m.

    Well I sincerely liked reading it. This article procured by you is very useful for correct planning.

  10. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    7:33 p.m.

    Exactly what I was searching for, regards for putting up.

  11. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    8:02 p.m.

    Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem with your site in internet explorer, would test this… IE still is the market leader and a large portion of people will miss your great writing because of this problem.

  12. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    11:22 p.m.

    Thank you, I’ve recently been searching for information approximately this topic for ages and yours is the best I have came upon so far. However, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you positive concerning the source?

  13. Anonymous

    July 14, 2015
    12:20 a.m.

    I went over this web site and I conceive you have a lot of wonderful information, saved to favorites (:.

  14. Badan

    July 17, 2015
    4:43 a.m.

    The Truth About Cellulite: Joey Atlas Reveals His Simple, Do-It-From-Home Naked Beauty Symulast Method For Getting Rid Of Cellulite On Your Legs, Thighs, Butt, Hips, And Lower Body Trouble Areas Once And For All Using A Powerful Combination Of Synergistic Muscle Layer Stimulation (SYMULAST) Exercises… Written for consumers by a consumer, this fan site includes a fun and informative Truth About Cellulite review, ebook FAQ, and PDF download guide that provides an insider’s look at the program and answers frequently asked questions about Joey Atlas’ unique and highly popular cellulite removal system. For more info, please visit my website

  15. Badan

    July 17, 2015
    4:50 a.m.

    If you’ve ever wondered, “Why can’t I get a girl to go out with me?”, you’re not alone. It happens to every guy at some point in his life-you meet an amazing woman who instantly captures your interest. The only problem is, she doesn’t feel the same way. For more information, please click my webpage:

  16. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    6:57 a.m.

    Valuable information. Lucky me I found your web site by accident, and I am shocked why this accident did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

  17. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    7:10 a.m.

    Hi , I do believe this is an excellent blog. I stumbled upon it on Yahoo , i will come back once again. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and help other people.

  18. Anonymous

    July 19, 2015
    8:50 a.m.

    I truly appreciate this post. I have been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thanks again

  19. Anonymous

    July 19, 2015
    9:31 a.m.

    You are my aspiration, I own few web logs and very sporadically run out from brand :). “To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely.” by Jorge Luis Borges.

  20. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    2:58 p.m.

    Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and will come back later in life. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great posts, have a nice holiday weekend!

  21. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    8:04 p.m.

    I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thank you, I?¦ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website?

  22. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    5:26 a.m.

  23. Anonymous

    July 22, 2015
    11:18 a.m.


  24. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    12:09 p.m.

    You are my inspiration , I have few blogs and infrequently run out from to post : (.

  25. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    6:24 a.m.

    I love it when people come together and share opinions, great blog, keep it up.

  26. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    8:18 a.m.

    Hello! I’ve been following your web site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic job!

  27. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    9:21 a.m.

    I like reading and I conceive this website got some truly utilitarian stuff on it! .

  28. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    9:52 p.m.

    Wow! Thank you! I continuously wanted to write on my site something like that. Can I implement a portion of your post to my site?

  29. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    10:33 a.m.

    Hi there this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  30. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    2:02 p.m.

    I like this web site because so much useful stuff on here : D.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...