Senate Passes 2014 Budget That Would Reverse Sequestration

Susan Walsh/AP File Photo

Following a day and an evening of debate and a “vote-a-rama,” the Democratic-controlled Senate early Saturday gave final approval to a budget resolution that differs starkly with the Republican-controlled House version, setting up months of coming clashes over spending bills.

After senators had prepared some 400 amendments, only a few dozen were brought to a recorded or voice vote, leading up to a 50-49 vote for final passage that broke down largely along party lines, with four Democrats voting against it.

The Senate’s fiscal 2014 budget matches nearly $1 trillion in spending cuts with revenue hikes of equal value and protects federal workers' pay levels and retirement benefits. Backers said it would achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction during the next decade.

The debate -- which offered a preview of the political and fiscal strategies of both parties -- brought in everything from Republican efforts to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act to efforts to prevent tax increases. Unlike its House counterpart passed on Thursday, the Senate budget would reverse sequestration.

“I am disappointed that instead of moving toward compromise and a truly balanced approach to tackling our economic and fiscal challenges, House Republicans decided to double down on the failed policies that the American people rejected just a few months ago,” said Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., who managed the floor debate on the nonbinding resolution. “The pro-growth budget being debated in the Senate today offers a responsible path toward a balanced and bipartisan budget deal.”

Ranking Budget panel member Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said the Senate budget does not address the debt. “It never balances,” he said. “We need to stop shielding government bureaucrats, which is what is hurting people. When Democrats raise taxes, they’re enriching that bureaucracy at the expense of the people.”

Republicans continued their effort to offer amendments to further shield the Defense Department from sequestration, with Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., saying “We’re not sure all the cuts under sequestration are actually doing the cutting, and some cuts will cost more.”

They also targeted specific agencies for what they characterized as waste. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, blasted the Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration for its “inexcusably poor financial management of the Jobs Corps over the past two years.”

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.