Murray, other Dems pressure GOP to start budget debate

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidSenate Dems block spending bill over Iran amendment — again Cruz: Boehner unleashed his ‘inner Trump’ Reid, McConnell trade fire over stalled energy bill MORE (D-Nev.) on Tuesday tried to start 50 hours of debate on the budget while the clock was ticking down on the continuing resolution (CR). But Sen. Jerry MoranJerry MoranOvernight Finance: McConnell fast-tracks IRS bills; WH pushes free college tuition The Trail 2016: New Trump same as the old GOP lawmaker passes on Kansas Senate primary challenge MORE (R-Kan.) blocked the move, in part to try to force a vote on his amendment to the CR

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Murray, who was joined on the floor by Sens. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerCruz's dad: Trump 'would be worse than Hillary Clinton' With Ryan’s blessing, lawmakers press ahead with tax reform talks Big business will never appease the Left MORE (D-N.Y.), Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerSenate panel backs B water bill with Flint aid The Hill's 12:30 Report Fiorina fires back at Barbara Boxer MORE (D-Calif.) and Dick DurbinDick DurbinSenators roll out changes to criminal justice bill Let the Democratic veepstakes begin Senate Democrats push climate change bond bill MORE (D-Ill.), said she was confident that the American people would stand by Democrats’ plan.

“We know our budget resolution reflects the values of the American people,” Murray said. “The contrast is going to be clear and the American people will continue to stand with us as we fight for a balanced approach.”

Democrats say their budget cuts the deficit by $1.85 trillion over 10 years through an equal amount of tax revenue and spending cuts, but the GOP has said that, because it assumes the sequester will not happen, the amount of deficit reduction is closer to $700 billion.

Earlier Tuesday, Sen. John ThuneJohn ThuneGOP blasts Obama for slow economic growth Overnight Tech: Business data deals on FCC agenda Overnight Tech: Email privacy bill gets its day MORE (R-S.D.) criticized Murray’s budget for not balancing the budget over 10 years, as the House GOP budget does.

“Their budget would never balance,” Thune said. “It begs the question, what is balanced about a budget that never balances?”

Schumer said he thought Republicans could be holding up the process because they realize that the public doesn’t support the plan proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul RyanGOP faces existential threat Labor chief knocks GOP 'waste of time' on fiduciary rule GOP blasts Obama for slow economic growth MORE (R-Wis.). Ryan’s plan would cut projected spending by $5.7 trillion and reduce the top tax rate to 25 percent, while balancing the budget over 10 years.

Schumer said Ryan’s plan “ends Medicare as we know it” and eliminates tax cuts for middle class families.

“I guess if I had their budget, I’d want to put it off too,” Schumer said. “Let the people hear us debate. We’re pretty confident they’ll like our budget better.”

The budget requires 50 hours of debate and unlimited germane amendments. Reid had said he'd hoped to begin the budget process at the start of the week so lawmakers could leave for their two-week Easter/Passover recess, but now it appears senators will be have to work through the weekend to complete the budget process.

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