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This Week

Both houses will attempt to move to the budget, with neither majority fully pleasing both budget and defense hawks, leaving much work to do. The House is expected to offer an amendment creating a $96 billion war fund, preventing the need to find offsets, but it remains very unclear if it will keep budget hawks onboard. With no Democrats expected to support the Republicans budget, it could be a long week for the majority getting to final passage. The House is expected to also attempt to pass a permanent fix to the Sustainable Growth Rate or SGR, which is the formula by which the government reimburses doctors who serve Medicare patients. The Senate is expected to hold one of its rare "vote-a-ramas," during which senators can offer an unlimited number of amendments to the budget. The back-to-back votes on amendments are likely to go all night, possibly Thursday. Senate Democrats have pledged to block any attempt to increase defense spending without also increasing spending for nondefense programs. We also may see a nonbinding vote on the Marketplace Fairness Act, as the key champion of the legislation is Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wy. more

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