Political Calculus

I gather that Senate majority leader Harry Reid is quite confident that he has the votes to defeat the Ryan budget passed by the House outright:

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced on Wednesday that he would host a vote on Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget as a means of forcing moderate GOP senators to weigh in on the legislation’s controversial proposals. He did not provide a specific date for when that vote will take place.

“There will be an opportunity in the Senate to vote on the Ryan budget to see if Republican senators like the Ryan budget as much as the House did,” Reid said on a conference call with reporters. “Without going into the Ryan budget we will see how much the Republicans like it here in the Senate.”

Assuming he’s as good as his word, as I see it there are a handful of possible outcomes.

The Ryan budget could be voted down in the Senate. That implies that either there will be a straight party line vote with no more than three Democrats defecting to support the Ryan budget or that it will be voted down on a bipartisan basis with some Republican Senators voting along with most Democrats.

The Ryan budget could be passed in the Senate and vetoed by the president.

The Ryan budget could be passed and signed by the president, enacting it into law.

From Harry Reid’s point of view is either of the two latter outcomes acceptable? I don’t think so. That’s how I conclude that either he’ll never bring it up for a vote or he’s pretty confident that it will be voted down. Is he right?

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