Blunt, McCaskill Appear Ready For Vote On Budget Deal

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have until midnight to reach a deal with President Barack Obama to keep the federal government running. | Photo by Michael Stacy
The budget deal passed the House last week, and the Senate will begin voting on it today. | Photo by Michael Stacy

With voting set to begin today, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt appeared to support an up or down vote on a budget deal and Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill indicated her support of the legislation.

Blunt, a Republican, signaled during a stop in Springfield that he will likely vote yes to invoke cloture and end debate on the legislation, provided that two of his concerns are addressed. But he was less open about whether he will support the bill itself.

The budget deal, which passed the House last week, eases a harsh set of spending cuts scheduled for 2014 and 2015. But it leaves intact most of the roughly $1 trillion in automatic cuts set to hit the military, domestic agencies and Medicare providers through 2021. Reductions in pension benefits are Blunt’s first concern. Under the budget proposal, cost of living adjustments will be lowered for working-age military retirees.

McCaskill, a Democrat, has previously said she is happy there is even a budget deal upon which to vote. A spokesperson did not answer whether McCaskill plans to vote for cloture or for the deal when asked directly, but did provide a statement from the senator: “It’s not a perfect deal, but that’s because it’s a compromise, that’s something we need more of around here.”

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