by Tony Lee 13 Dec 2013
Four Senate Republicans -- Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Susan Collins (R-ME) (who is facing a primary challenger), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Richard Burr (R-NC) -- are planning to vote for cloture on the budget deal that Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) brokered that raises spending beyond the sequestration levels by raising taxes.
There are 53 Democrats and two Independents that caucus with Democrats. Since 60 votes are needed for cloture, one more Republican vote will be needed.
The House passed the deal on Thursday.
According to Politico, if a few Democrats decide not to vote for cloture, a few more GOP votes will be needed. In that case, Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), John Hoeven (R-ND), Rob Portman (R-OH), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) may also consider voting for cloture as needed to allow the bill to pass because Republicans intend to filibuster it.
Collins told Politico, “I will vote for cloture." Just like Republicans did during the defunding debate, though, Collins may then vote against the final bill after she lets it get to the floor, when it will pass with a simple majority.
The budget agreement, which increases spending beyond sequester levels, has been resoundingly criticized as a tax increase.