Durbin: 'Need About 8 Republicans' to Get Budget Bill Through Senate

December 16, 2013 - 12:21 PM

Dick Durbin

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - The Ryan-Murray budget agreement that passed the House last week is struggling in the Senate.

"We will need about eight Republicans to come our way," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "I feel we'll have a good, strong showing from the Democratic side, but we need bipartisan support to pass it."

Durbin said some Senate Republicans won't vote for the deal because they're considering a run for president; others "are frankly afraid of this new force, the tea party," he said. "So it is very difficult."

At least two Senate Republicans have voiced support for the budget deal.

"I think it's important we have this agreement," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "As you know, I am particularly sensitive about the military. I have talked to our military leaders, they say they badly need this relief."

And Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) posted a message on his website Sunday, saying he will support the Ryan-Murray deal: "Although I disagree with a number of provisions in the bill, on balance the good outweighs the bad. As long as the Senate does nothing to worsen the bill, I intend to support it," he said.

Three other Republicans -- Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake of Arizona, and Richard Burr of N.C. -- have said they will vote to cut off debate and let the measure proceed to a vote, The Hill newspaper reported.

The Hill also reported that three Democrats may oppose the budget deal, but they were not named.

Conservatives have blasted the agreement, because it boosts federal expenditures by $63 billion during the next two years, breaching the $967 billion spending limit set by the Budget Control Act of 2011, in exchange for future deficit cuts totaling $23 billion.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says the plan is not ideal, but he's repeatedly called it "a step in the right direction."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has called for a cloture vote on Tuesday. The deal cleared the House last week on a vote of 332-94.