Report: Senate Dems may avoid election year budget battle

Jan. 28, 2014 at 4:16 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. Senate Democrats are reluctant to introduce a budget resolution because it may force members to take difficult votes in an election year, Republicans said.

The law requires the Senate to pass a resolution, but the resolution itself is not legally binding. The process of adopting a spending blueprint could open the way for Senate Republicans to introduce a large number of amendments that would confront Democrats with difficult choices, Roll Call reported Tuesday.

The Senate has adopted only one budget resolution in the past five years -- that coming last year -- and the report said the two-year agreement recently approved makes the issue of a budget resolution for the coming year moot.

The debate on the resolution last year allowed Republicans to offer an unlimited number of amendments that would not be binding but could force Democrats to cast votes that would be difficult to explain to voters in their home states, Roll Call said.

Sen. Jeff Session, R-Ala., said Democrats don't want to vote in an election year on a budget that might call for raising taxes and spending.

"They don't want to show their hand, they want to hide the fact that they [want to] tax and spend," he said.

Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., said Republicans will find fault with whatever Democrats do "but we'll make a decision based on what [we think] is the right thing to do."

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