Senate Democrats Adopt First Budget in Four Years

 

 

 

” Lawmakers on Saturday voted 50-49 to endorse a fiscal 2014 measure that proposes to raise $1 trillion by clamping down on tax breaks for the wealthy while paring spending on defense, farm subsidies and other programs.

“Budgets are about far more than numbers on a page — they are about the values and priorities of the American people,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat and the plan’s chief sponsor.

The proposal highlighted differences between the two parties over taxes, spending and the size of government. The vote clears the way for the next phase in Washington’s budget battle, which probably will revolve around the need to raise the U.S. debt limit. Federal borrowing authority is scheduled to expire May 19.

Republicans said the Senate Democrats’ proposal would do too little to rein in government red ink.

“Honest people can disagree on policy, but there really cannot be disagreement on the need to change our nation’s budget course,” said Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the chamber’s Budget Committee.

Four Democrats voted against the final version: Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Pryor of Arkansas. All are up for re-election in 2014.”