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Sessions: ‘With their pay threatened,’ Senate Dems ‘see the light’ on budget

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Senate Budget Committee chair Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced that Senate Democrats will pass their first budget since 2009, while trying to dispel the idea that the House Republicans’ ‘no budget, no pay’ proposal had pushed Democrats to do so.

“Senate Democrats plan to move on a budget resolution regardless of whether the House rolls this issue into their short-term bill to increase the debt limit,” Murray said in a statement this morning. “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.”

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., welcomed the rare promise to pass a budget. “Now, with their pay threatened, and long-simmering public anger growing, Senate Democrats have suddenly seen the light,” Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Budget Committee, said in a statement. “Even just a few days ago, they were not willing to commit to doing a budget.” Sessions led the push to use the debt ceiling to require Democrats to pass a budget.

Murray was combative throughout her statement. “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.

Last week, her office was noncommittal about the prospect of a budget. “With three deadlines coming up and many Republicans threatening to throw the federal government into default, the budget process has moved far from usual order and the path forward is entirely dependent on what happens over the next few months,” Murray spokesman Eli Zupnick told The Hill in response to a letter from the Republicans on the Budget Committee requesting that Murray restore the regular budget process.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., previewed one key aspect of that budget. “We’re going to do a budget this year and it’s going to have revenues in it and our Republican colleagues better get used to that fact,” Schumer said on Sunday.

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