Several Democratic Senators, including Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (Mich.), have called for passing a bill providing Defense Department funding for the remainder of the fiscal year, regardless of what happens with the larger negotiations.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Congress should pass a short-term bill to fund the Pentagon at minimum.
“That’s a very logical thing that we should do,” said Lieberman, who caucuses with the Democrats. “Everybody agrees that we should do it, at least for a week.”
Lieberman said Reid was not optimistic in Thursday’s caucus meeting that a shutdown could be avoided, primarily because Republicans don’t appear to be willing to budge on the EPA and Planned Parenthood riders.
“Yesterday he was optimistic, today he’s pessimistic,” Lieberman said of Reid.
Conrad said Republicans were still pushing to include many other riders, including provisions on mountaintop mining, Wall Street reform and D.C. school vouchers.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.