The Senate OK’d a $36.5 billion spending plan, but failed to approve a key bill needed to implement cuts contained in it. The Senate also did not vote on a controversial bill to raise taxes needed to balance the spending plan.
Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said it will up to the Republicans to decide when they’re ready to vote for the budget bills.
“I was under the impression we had reached an agreement on the budget,” Cullerton said after the votes. “The issue is, why did the Republicans not vote for the budget?”
Republican senators, though, again said that negotiators from both parties are getting close to agreement on the remaining outstanding issues and more time is needed. They accused Cullerton of staging a “political show” with the votes Wednesday.
* From an analysis issued by Cullerton’s office yesterday…
Negotiations [with the Republicans] left a $475 million gap between spending and revenue. This [Democratic] plan closes it by means testing certain income tax breaks, adjusting the borrowing to pay old bills plan and making $60 million in additional reductions.
So, there was no agreement on the budget.