POLITICS

Senate Dem: Deal with budget in lame duck session

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said today that the Senate should pass a budget after the election but before 2013 -- meaning, during the lame duck session.

"Before the end of the year we're going to have to find a way to come together," Conrad said during the mark-up on the Senate Democrats budget (which, Senate Democrats decided yesterday, would not actually involve a mark-up.) Conrad noted that this would not happen before the election. 

"This is the wrong time to vote in committee; this is the wrong time to vote on the floor," Conrad said yesterday. "I don’t think we will be prepared to vote before the election."

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said described the decision to punt on the budget as  "an abdication of the responsibility of the majority party." He added that "There has been a systematic plan [by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.,] to avoid votes."

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., scolded his own leadership earlier this year, saying they don't want to "risk the election" by voting on an actual budget with actual spending figures.

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