Senate Budget

Our letter/petition to Senators Gillibrand and Schumer was faxed Friday evening with 45 signatures. We knew it was late, that the Democratic caucus was split, and that our letter would not sway our Senators’ votes. But it serves to remind them that there are groups like us watching closely. The budget discussion if far from over, there are hard votes yet to come.

Early this morning the Senate passed a budget with a 50 to 49 vote. Read the story from The Hill about that vote. Four Democratic Senators voted against the budget (Baucus, Begich, Hagan and Pryor) and one missed the vote (Lautenberg).

This budget will not become law, of course. The Ryan/Republican bill from the house is still there and President Obama proposed a budget but his real political position in the budget debate remains unclear.

Senate on record opposing use of chained CPI

“President Obama has put the new method, known as chained consumer price index, on the table in deficit talks with Republicans. Using it reduces entitlement benefits like Social Security over time and also raises revenues by reducing the value of tax breaks.The vote on the amendment was by voice vote, so its usefulness in quantifying Senate opposition to the proposal is minimal. The amendment is non-binding because it is attached to the budget resolution, which does not have the force of law.Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) sponsored the amendment.

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