Reid: Senate to take up budget bill Tuesday

The U.S. Senate will take up the bipartisan budget bill Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Friday.

On Thursday evening, the House approved a two-year spending plan 332-94 – a strong show of bipartisan support that underscored the desire by many lawmakers to avoid a repeat of the October budget showdown.

The bill was approved over the objections of conservatives concerned it would increase spending in the short-term and liberals concerned it would not extend long-term jobless aid.

The House vote indicates the bill could be on a relatively clear path to the president’s desk, in sharp contrast to the protracted budget standoff in the fall which resulted in a partial government shutdown.

Lawmakers face a Jan. 15 deadline this time around to approve a spending plan. 

The bill was approved with more Republican that Democratic votes. House Speaker John Boehner was among those voting yes -- notable because the speaker often does not vote.

Among the 32 Democratic no's was House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, reflecting a rare split in the Democratic leadership.

The final breakdown was 169 Republicans and 163 Democrats voting yes and 62 Republicans and 32 Democrats voting no.

The White House immediately issued a statement saying the bill's passage "marks an important moment of bipartisan cooperation and shows Washington can and should stop governing by crisis."

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., one of the bill's chief negotiators, said it "will stop Washington's lurch from crisis to crisis." Rep. Patty Murray of Washington, the key negotiator on the Democratic side, echoed Ryan, saying, "we are now one step closer to a bipartisan budget that would prevent another crisis."

Ahead of the vote, Boehner sparred with the right flank of his party over the bill, produced out of weeks-long bipartisan negotiations. He specifically criticized conservative advocacy groups trying to pressure the rank-and-file to block the budget.

"Frankly, I think they're misleading their followers," Boehner said at a press conference. "I think they're pushing our members into places where they don't want to be. And frankly, I just think that they've lost all credibility." 

The comments reflected a newly aggressive approach by Boehner, in contrast to the more conciliatory tone he took during the last budget showdown. The speaker even took a shot at them for fueling the last battle. "You know, one of them, they pushed us into the fight to defund ObamaCare and shut down the government," he said. 

FreedomWorks, among the groups that oppose the current budget bill, shot back at the House speaker again on Thursday.