Tim Kaine: Senate Made 'Huge Concession' in Passing First CR Sent Over by House
(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) says the Senate made a "huge concession" to House Republicans by passing their $986-billion stopgap spending bill last Friday, even though language defunding Obamacare was removed from that bill.
"We could have changed the budget number to the one we liked, and we could have put in things we like, like pass an immigration bill, for gosh sake, or pass the farm bill; we didn't," Kaine told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday. "We separated out the non-spending items and we just said, we will accept -- House, we will accept your spending number.
"That's a huge concession, because our spending number for the CR (continuing resolution) would have been, if you annualized it, would have been about $50 billion higher, but we accepted their number, we sent it back. All they have to do is say yes for an answer.
"So if they want to, every few days, take up a minor little bill and send it over, I guess we'll consider it. But they should just take yes for an answer."
The House on Tuesday tried to pass three smaller bills to fund veterans’ programs, national parks and museums, and the city of Washington, D.C., but House Democrats prevented passage of those smaller bills, calling the effort inadequate.
Kaine says he doesn't see the government shutdown ending any time soon, as the current budget battle morphs into the bigger battle over raising the debt limit. The Treasury Department says that by Oct. 17, it expects to exhaust the extraordinary measures it is now taking to continue paying the nation’s bills.
"This whole thing is going to roll into debt ceiling," Kaine said on Wednesday.
"The White House is sort of bracing -- I think they thought (House Speaker) Boehner would have basically conceded by now on the shutdown and moved to the debt ceiling. The fact that he hasn't -- they're assuming this is going long-term..."