All Eyes and Ears on the Budget

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Mar 31, 2009 12:51 PM
Two amendments were filed last night on Obama's budget proposal from Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Mike Johanns (R-NE). Their amendments require any climate change legislation to ensure that energy prices will not go up ( implausible), and prohibit reconciliation rules from being implemented on cap-and-trade legislation. Reconciliation is a tricky beast - it allows Democrats to sidestep the necessity of a 60-40 majority, and instead pass laws with a simply majority. Republicans decried the tactic this year but defended it last year.

The House version of the bill passed through the Committee on the Budget last night, and a full vote is expected tomorrow. The Senate should vote on Thursday. Obama has urged legislators to pass the budget as quickly as possible, and has also expressed support for reconciliation, which would amount to a declaration of war against Republicans.