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Senators Coats And Donnelly Split On Senate Budget Deal

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, voted for the Senate budget deal while Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, voted against it.

budget deal

Photo: U.S. Senate

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, voted for the Senate budget deal while Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, voted against it.

Update 5:27 p.m.

With a 64-36 vote, the Senate passed the budget agreement, sending the measure to the president.

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, voted in favor of the deal. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, voted against it.

Update 4:58 p.m.:

The Associated Press is reporting the Senate has passed the budget bill.

Original Post:

In a vote expected this week on the proposed budget deal that would prevent another government shutdown this January, Indiana’s U.S. senators are once again split.

Senators Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, and Dan Coats, R-Indiana, took opposing sides on a procedural vote Tuesday and are expected to do the same on a formal vote to approve the measure this week.

The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to move forward with the budget deal. The procedural vote passed 67-33, meaning it will move past debate and go to a formal vote.

As NPR reports, the formal vote requires a simple majority to pass, rather than the larger majority this vote needed.

With the procedural vote, the lawmakers took a key step toward approval of the legislation, which last week won overwhelming support in the House. Tuesday’s vote was to begin debate on the measure — a step that requires at least 60 “ayes.”

The next vote, on the plan itself, requires only a simple majority (51 or more votes if all senators are present). With the Democratic caucus controlling 55 seats, passage is expected.

Donnelly said in a statement before the vote yesterday that he would support the measure.

“No one got 100 percent of what they wanted, but this proposal makes additional cuts to the deficit and prevents another government shutdown,” he said. “This is an example of how the parties can work together, and we need more bipartisan efforts like this instead of the partisan gridlock that hurt our economy this year.”

Coats was one of the 33 nay votes. The Senate Joint Economic Committee member explained why he voted against the bill in a statement released yesterday.

“While I appreciate the work of Paul Ryan and House Republicans, and I recognize the short-term stability this budget deal offers, I could not overcome the fact that this plan once again allows Congress and the administration to avoid the tough choices we must make to stabilize our long-term fiscal future,” he said.

The House passed the budget deal last week, and the formal Senate vote is expected to pass sometime this week.

The senators were also split on the temporary budget deal made in October to end the government shutdown. Donnelly voted for the deal. Coats voted against it.

This story will be updated.

Claire McInerny

Claire McInerny is an education reporter for StateImpact Indiana. She comes to WFIU/WTIU from KCUR in Kansas City. She graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Kansas where she discovered her passion for public media and the stories it tells. You can follow her on Twitter @ClaireMcInerny.

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