Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) appears to have the votes needed to push a budget agreement over the finish line. (AP)
This item has been updated.
A bipartisan budget agreement already passed overwhelmingly by the House now appears to have sufficient support to survive a key procedural test vote in the U.S. Senate later this week.
Final passage of the bill with a simple majority of senators doesn’t appear in doubt — but the legislation written by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) must first clear a procedural hurdle to end formal debate and proceed to final passage.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. budget negotiators said on Wednesday they were still far from an agreement and put off scheduling any other public meetings as talks to ease automatic spending cuts moved behind closed doors.
The 29-member congressional negotiating committee trying to set spending levels for fiscal 2014 has largely ceded negotiating authority to its top Republican, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, and its Democratic leader, Senator Patty Murray from Washington state.
Hundreds of furloughed federal employees rallied outside the Capitol on Friday to call on Congress to vote to reopen government.
Led by more than 20 members of Congress and public employee union leadership, the crowd chanted, “We want to work” and “Let them vote,” alluding to the demand by Democrats to hold a House vote on a “clean CR” that approves government funding but doesn’t gut Obamacare.