The Senate passing a budget, of course, is by far the more miraculous occurrence, and certainly a rarer one. A 15-seed upsetting a 2-seed in the NCAA tournament is nearly a yearly occurrence: Lehigh upset Duke just last year, for example. Harry Reid's Senate, despite being legislatively binding, has refused to even offer up a budget since 2009.
This Senate budget passed 50-49, with four Democrats joining a unified Republican opposition to oppose it. It's not hard to see why even the Democrats would be hesitant about this budget. It replaces the spending cuts in sequestration with cuts to military defense and tax hikes. All told, there's over $1 trillion in tax hikes. Due to all the spending, the Senate budget spends over $700 billion more than the Republican budget over the next ten years on interest payments on the national debt alone.
Democrat Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Kay Hagan (N.C.) and Mark Begich (Ak.) all voted against the Senate budget. Every one of those faces a re-election battle in 2014 and didn't want to have to go to the American people and explain why they voted for a massive tax hike without even attempting to get spending under control.
If the budgeting process weren't broken, what would happen now is that both the Senate and the House would move to conference, where they'd come up with a unified, consensus budget, then go back to their respective chambers for a final vote before sending it to the President. But the budgeting process is broken. The Democrats did this mostly for show (and because they're legislatively required to, though that hasn't stopped them from refusing to offer a budget up in the past) and the United States government will continue operations under a continuing resolution rather than a full-fledged budget.
So let's just enjoy this moment. It's rare, but precious. The Senate passed a budget.
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