Senate Passes GOP Budget at 3:28am

50-plus amendments passed in all-night 'vote-a-rama'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2015 7:09 AM CDT
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, accompanied by Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington in this March 24, 2015, file photo.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

(Newser) – The Senate powered through an 18-hour session that ended at 3:28am this morning, giving a yea or nay to more than 50 amendments in a "vote-a-rama" marathon and, in a 52-46 vote, approving a budget that looks to pave the way for dumping ObamaCare, Reuters reports. Not one Democrat said yes to the plan, the New York Times reports. The GOP plan for purging deficits by 2025 without raising taxes: slash $5.1 trillion in social "safety net" and other programs. What's going to rise amid the deep cuts is military funding, with a proposal to funnel about $38 billion over to a war-funding account. The Senate now begins a spring recess, so come mid-April, the approved Senate budget will need to be reconciled with the House budget that passed Wednesday. The Times notes it would be "the first common congressional budget in a decade."

While not legally binding or in need of Obama's signature, the legislation informs spending limits for domestic and military programs, per the Times, and lays the groundwork for future bills that seem destined for veto fights with the president, the AP notes. "Fortunately for the country, the Republican budget will not become law," Harry Reid tells the Times. Two GOPers voted "nay" to the plan: presidential wannabes Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. As for the dozens of amendments that flew through the approval process, there were some conciliatory overtures from the Republican side: They helped sail through amendments on Social Security and veteran benefits for same-sex couples, and 14 GOPers voted to pass an amendment that calls for American workers to earn paid sick leave, Reuters notes.

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