Senate votes to cut-off debate over budget compromise

By a vote of 67-33, the Senate has invoked cloture on the Murray-Ryan budget compromise, thus ending debate and paving the way for passing the bill. As I understand it, all 55 Senate Democrats voted for cloture and were joined by 12 Republicans. The 12 Republicans are: Lamar Alexander, Roy Blunt, Saxby Chambliss, Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Orrin Hatch, John Hoeven, Johnny Isakson, Ron Johnson, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, and Rob Portman.

The deal that will now be enacted is a poor excuse for budget legislation. But the sequester that it replaces isn’t much to write home about either. Though marginally preferable to Murray-Ryan, it was not a serious attempt to attack the debt problem and its indiscriminate nature created problems, especially when it comes to national defense.

Even so, I would have preferred that Republicans not strike this deal, leaving Democrats with the options of being saddled with the sequester or forcing a government shutdown to replace it.

Once Paul Ryan struck his deal with Patty Murray, this was no longer how the situation would be perceived. Republicans now had the options of accepting a bipartisan deal or forcing a government shutdown. The political risk of choosing the second option is obvious.

Thus, it is understandable that congressional Republicans, who have seen their political stock rise and would not like to see this reversed, accepted the deal.

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