Senate Invokes Cloture, Clears Way for Budget Vote

The Senate voted across party lines Tuesday to invoke cloture on a two-year funding compromise, clearing the way for a vote on the bill as early as today. The two-year funding compromise, which was hashed out between Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), passed the House last week. The bill mitigates sequestration’s harmful effects on the Defense Department and eliminates the possibility of another government shutdown after the current continuing resolution expires in mid-January. “This bill isn’t exactly what I would have written on my own, and I’m pretty sure it’s not what (Ryan) would have written on his own. It’s a compromise— and that means neither side got everything they wanted,” Murray said in a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday. Twelve Republicans voted for cloture, but Budget Committee Ranking Member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) was not among them. Sessions criticized the deal for proposed reductions to military retiree pensions—an issue the Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to take up next year. “It is unthinkable that this provision would be included in a deal that spares current civilian workers from the same treatment,” said Sessions in a statement. (See also The Budget Fine Print)