Five Republican senators joined a unified Democratic caucus on Thursday night to vote against Paul Ryan’s House GOP budget, which unravels the social safety net and lowers taxes dramatically, and was rejected 40-59.
They are Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Dean Heller (R-NV), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY). Collins and Heller are among the more moderate members of the GOP conference and voted against it last year. Paul voted against it last year and is offering a more right-wing plan. Lee voted for it last year. Cruz wasn’t a senator then.
Senate Republicans were not eager to vote on the Ryan budget again this year but Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray (D-WA), the author of the Democrats’ first budget resolution in four years, forced a vote on it. Democrats decided it would be a damaging vote for Republicans.
TPM reached out to each of the five senators’ offices; only Heller responded.
“Congress should stop playing politics with the budget process, and get serious about bringing Republicans and Democrats together to agree on a long-term plan,” he said. “The political gamesmanship going on in the Senate this week is exactly why I introduced an amendment that would require the Senate to debate, amend and vote on the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles proposal. Only by coming together can Congress actually pass a budget resolution into law.”
Sahil Kapur is a congressional reporter for TPM. He previously covered politics and public policy for numerous publications including The Guardian and The Huffington Post. He can be reached at sahil [at] talkingpointsmemo.com.