Senate Democrats have come to the floor 14 times since the Senate passed the concurrent resolution on the budget and asked consent to move to bipartisan budget negotiations with the House. Each time a Republican has objected to going to conference.
This afternoon Senator Murray asked unanimous consent (the 14th time) the Senate proceed to the consideration of Calendar #33, H.Con.Res.25; the amendment at the desk, which is the text of S.Con.Res.8, the budget resolution passed by the Senate, be inserted in lieu thereof; and that H.Con.Res.25, as amended, be agreed to. Further, that the Senate insist on its amendment, request a conference with the House on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses; and the Chair be authorized to appoint conferees on the part of the Senate; and that following the authorization, two motions to instruct conferees be in order from each side:
- Motion to instruct relative to the debt limit; and
- Motion to instruct relative to taxes/revenue;
That there be two hours of debate equally divided between the two Leaders, or their designees, prior to votes in relation to the motions; further, that no amendments be in order to either of the motions prior to the votes; all of the above occurring with no intervening action or debate.
Senator Toomey asked that the request be modified so that it not be in order for the Senate to consider a conference report that includes reconciliation instructions to raise the debt limit.
Senator Murray explained that her request allows senators to vote on their request to prohibit reconciliation instructions to raise the debt limit and objected to the modification.
Senator Toomey objected to the original request.