Murray, other Dems pressure GOP to start budget debate

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems double down on Nevada Latino vote Heck's rejection of Trump imperils Nevada Senate race Pelosi blasts GOP leaders for silence on Trump 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 MoranGOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Overnight Finance: Lawmakers float criminal charges for Wells Fargo chief | Scrutiny on Trump's Cuba dealings | Ryan warns of recession if no tax reform GOP senators press Treasury to withdraw estate tax proposal MORE (R-Kan.) blocked the move, in part to try to force a vote on his amendment to the CR

Murray, who was joined on the floor by Sens. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerImmigration was barely covered in the debates GOP leaders advise members to proceed with caution on Trump Senate Dems demand answers from Wells Fargo over treatment of military MORE (D-N.Y.), Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerCalifornia House Republicans facing tougher headwinds House and Senate water bills face billion difference Boxer, Feinstein endorse Kamala Harris in two-Dem Senate race MORE (D-Calif.) and Dick DurbinDick DurbinGreat Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system Wikileaks: Durbin pushed unknown Warren for Obama bank regulator The Hill's 12:30 Report 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 senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Republicans question FCC watchdog's 'independence' The Trail 2016: Sinister plot 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 RyanRNC chairman: Ryan one of 'brightest stars' in Republican Party Gingrich: 'Of course' we can afford to have president with split personality Could a President Clinton heal a divided nation? 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.