GOP Joins as Budget Clears 1st Senate Vote, 67-33

Deal should pass Senate no later than tomorrow
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2013 7:54 AM CST
Updated Dec 17, 2013 9:50 AM CST
GOP Senators Jump In to Push Budget Over Finish
In this Dec. 31, 2012 file photo, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, center, fields questions from reporters as he walks on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Conservatives still don't love the bipartisan budget deal passed by the House last week, but as expected, it advanced in the Senate today after a number of Republican senators declared their support. In some cases, their quite tepid support: The deal "isn’t everything I’d hoped it would be, and it isn’t what I would have written," reads Orrin Hatch's statement, per the Washington Post. "But sometimes the answer has to be yes." Along with the backing of John McCain and at least five other Republicans, the Senate advanced the measure over a filibuster threshold on a 67-33 vote, the AP reports. That means it will pass the Senate no later than tomorrow and head to the White House for President Obama's signature.

The bipartisan Paul Ryan-Patty Murray deal ran into trouble with the Senate despite easily passing the House, thanks to what the Post refers to as "a slew of tea party heroes" raising issues with it. Even many Democrats have problems with the bill, particularly because it doesn't renew unemployment benefits for more than a million people, CNN reports. But the deal means two blissful years of no government shutdown threats, the Guardian reports. Even so, don't get comfortable: The next battle will be over the debt ceiling, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Treasury says it should be raised by early March in order to avoid a government default, and conservatives want to try and get whatever they can in return. Then again, some think it may not be worth the potential bad press; plus, Obama has repeatedly said he won't negotiate. (More Senate stories.)

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