Following the Murray, Ryan Budget deal passing in the House with bipartisan support, Senate leaders, including the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, said they would filibuster the Bill.
“I’m having our folks look at it right so you’ll have to put me down as undecided because I’m very concerned about that,” he said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who is up for reelection next year and worked with McCain to find ways to reduce cuts slated for military programs, said he would vote “no” because of the military retiree issue.
Democratic leaders will need more than five GOP votes if they suffer defections within their own caucus. Liberal Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Bernie Sanders (Vt.), an independent who caucuses with Democrats, say they are undecided because the agreement does not include emergency unemployment benefits.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) and Orrin Hatch (Utah), two other Republicans with pragmatic streaks, also said they are undecided about how to vote.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, who plans to vote against the agreement, said Republicans will wage a filibuster against it.
He said the GOP would force Democrats to secure 60 votes at least twice to waive budgetary objections and end dilatory debate.
“They’ll need 60 votes on cloture and 60 votes on the budget point of order,” Sessions said.
But Republicans do not expect to wage a lengthy talking filibuster, such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) did earlier this year to protest the Obama administration’s drone policy.
“Really, the purpose of extending debate on an issue is so that people will become more aware and calling attention to it,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said. “I think there will be awareness of this issue and as a result it probably won’t be necessary to do something like that.”
Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Mike Lee (Utah), two Tea-Party Republicans who led the fight against the government funding measure in October, declined to say if they use a lengthy floor debate to slow Murray-Ryan pact.
Cruz issued a critical statement Thursday afternoon.
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