February 12, 2016

Sen. Nelson says politics is interfering with work in Congress (AUDIO)

Sen. Ben Nelson says much work remains for Congress this year and whether that work gets done depends a lot on whether presidential politics interferes.

Nelson says the top priority facing Congress is the budget. And Nelson says it won’t do for Congress simply to approve another short-term agreement to keep the federal government operating.

“Getting the appropriations process through and stop this insanity of kicking the can down the road for one or two months, or something like that; to establish certainty,” Nelson tells Nebraska Radio Network.

Whether that happens depends on Washington politics, according to Nelson. Nelson, a Democrat, accuses House Republicans of playing politics with the budget in an effort to embarrass President Barack Obama and ruin his re-election bid.

The president has threatened to veto any appropriations measures that would contain deeper cuts than those agreed to in the deal that ended the impasse over raising the nation’s debt limit. The budget approved by the United States House would cut an additional $19 billion. Democrats have charged that the House budget breaks the bipartisan agreement reached last year.

The Senate Budget Committee is working independently on a spending plan.

Nelson seems a bit more optimistic about prospects for a new Farm Bill, at least in the Senate. Nelson says the Senate has reached wide-spread agreement on the parameters of a Farm Bill. He hopes the House will follow the Senate’s lead on the bill.

AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:30]

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