Those hoping that the passage of a bipartisan transportation and student loan bill signaled a shift away from partisan bickering in Congress, prepare to be disappointed.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., indicated Tuesday that he does not believe the Senate will move forward on any more spending bills this year.
What’s the hold-up? Reid blames House Republicans and a difference in opinion over the total level of spending the government should engage in. Democrats want to stick with a $1.047 trillion level that was set by last year’s Budget Control Act, while Republicans want a $1.028 trillion budget for the coming year.
These squabbles have made it difficult for spending bills to get out of the Senate. So far this year, the Senate Appropriations Committee has passed nine spending bills, none of which has made it onto the Senate floor for voting.
Again, this is likely a case of Republicans biding their time until the fall election shakes out, after which they hope to have Romney in the White House and a majority in the Senate to match their House majority. Until then, all Reid and the rest of American can do is wait.
– Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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