Murray, other Dems pressure GOP to start budget debate

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems leery of Planned Parenthood cuts spark Senate scuffle Overnight Finance: Senate sends Puerto Rico bill to Obama | Treasury, lawmakers to meet on tax rules | Obama hits Trump on NAFTA | Fed approves most banks' capital plans Senate passes Puerto Rico debt relief 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 MoranSenate panel approves lifting Cuba travel ban Boost in Afghan visas blocked in Senate Senate contradicts itself on Gitmo 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 SchumerFormer Gillibrand aide wins NY House primary Senate faces critical vote on Puerto Rico Juan Williams: GOP sounds the sirens over Trump MORE (D-N.Y.), Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerDems leery of Planned Parenthood cuts spark Senate scuffle Calif. Dem missed votes, sit-in on trip to Spain Hispanic Caucus PAC looks to flex its muscles in 2016 MORE (D-Calif.) and Dick DurbinDick DurbinClinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Reid backs House Puerto Rico bill McConnell pledges redo vote on Zika after break 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 ThuneFacebook offers set of 'Values' to reassure users of neutrality Overnight Tech: Groups grade Clinton tech agenda | Facebook activates safety check in Istanbul | Another holdup for location data bill Congress prepping short-term FAA bill 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 RyanOvernight Finance: Senate sends Puerto Rico bill to Obama | Treasury, lawmakers to meet on tax rules | Obama hits Trump on NAFTA | Fed approves most banks' capital plans The Trail 2016: When a pivot isn’t always a pivot Kasich touts poll showing he does better against Clinton than Trump 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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