January 21, 2020

Budget Issues; Farm Bill; Ag Economy; and, Immigration

Budget Issues

Emily Holden reported yesterday at Roll Call Online that, “Senators rejected competing sequester replacement proposals Thursday, unable to agree on what legislation to take up to stop $85.3 billion in across-the-board spending cuts from going into effect Friday.

“The chamber turned back Democratic and Republican plans in two test votes designed to help the parties position themselves for negotiations after the budget cuts take hold tomorrow.”

Alexander Bolton reported yesterday at The Hill Online that, “A bill crafted by Senate Democrats won 51 votes, while a Republican alternative won only 38 votes. Three Democrats — Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.), Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Kay Hagan (N.C.), who are all up for reelection in 2014 — voted against their party’s bill, which fell 51-49.”

The Hill update noted that, “Congressional leaders say there is no Plan B and that the sequester, as the cuts are known in Washington, will be phased in over the next seven months. Hopes that a government-funding measure could become a vehicle to avert some of the cuts have also faded.”

“Following the votes, President Obama said Senate Republicans voted ‘to let the entire burden of deficit reduction fall squarely on the middle class,’” yesterday’s article said; while adding that, “Obama will meet with congressional leaders from both parties and chambers on Friday at the White House to discuss the next steps for addressing the sequester.

“Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said he will tell Obama in blunt terms that Republicans will not accept additional tax increases after voting for a $620 billion tax hike on New Year’s Day.”