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Conrad to Mark Up Budget This Week

Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) on Monday announced plans to mark up the fiscal 2011 budget resolution on Wednesday and Thursday.

Details of Conrad’s markup, including whether he will include reconciliation instructions shielding budget-related bills from filibusters, have not been released.

Conrad has pushed back in recent weeks against speculation that Democrats might forgo finishing a budget blueprint this year to avoid tough votes heading into the midterm elections. Congress failed to pass budget resolutions in 1998, 2002, 2004 and 2006, but Democrats have made passing a budget a point of pride since taking over in 2007.

The budget resolution sets the cap on discretionary spending, a precursor to passing the annual appropriation bills, while setting rules for consideration of “reconciliation” bills that affect spending and taxes. The use of reconciliation was critical to passage of health care reform and student loan legislation last month.

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