Senate Budget Committee chairman Patty Murray (D., Wash.) said Wednesday that Democrats are “ready to get to work” on a budget.
“This year . . . the Senate will once again return to regular order and move a budget resolution through the Budget Committee and to the Senate floor,” Murray said in a statement, the majority of which is devoted to attacking Republicans as hostage-takers and enemies of the middle class.
“Democrats are eager to contrast our pro-growth, pro-middle class budget priorities with the House Republicans’ Ryan budget that would end Medicare as we know it, gut investments in jobs and programs middle class families depend on, and cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations,” she said.
House Republicans are voting today on a debt-limit bill that would withhold Senators’ pay if they failed to pass a budget this year, something they haven’t done since 2009.
Murray said Democrats would act on a budget regardless of the outcome of the House vote. “I am ready to get to work with my colleagues on the Budget Committee and I look forward to fighting for middle class budget values and priorities in a conference with Chairman Ryan and the House,” she said.
Senate GOP aides are anxious to see where Democrats go from here. One notes that Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) is going to have “one hell of a time” getting some of his more vulnerable members who are up for reelection in red states in 2014 to vote for a budget that will inevitably include large tax increases. Another points out that two Democrats up for reelection in 2014 — Mark Begich (Alaska) and Mark Warner (Va.) — were recently replaced on the Senate Budget Committee by newly elected members.
Democrats have hardly been shy about their plans to use the budget process to demand higher taxes. “We didn’t get as much revenue as we needed in the fiscal-cliff deal,” Senator Ben Cardin (D., Md.), a senior member of the budget committee, told reporters Tuesday.