One big reason that Democrats have not passed a budget in over 1,400 days is that the Senate rules governing debate on a budget resolution are different than the rules that govern most other legislation. Normally, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., acts as a Rules Committee of one, hand selecting a few amendments from each party that he would like to see get votes.

But on a budget resolution, Reid is almost powerless. Senators are much more likely to see their amendments get votes on the floor. And after a four year wait, many in the Senate are sitting on a pile of amendments they’ve been prepping for years. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., had a list of over 120 amendments he has prepared for the budget debate. Last night his staff narrowed that number down and ended up submitting just over 20.

Few of these amendments will actually be adopted and none of them are expected to become law. They do serve two purposes though: 1) they allow senators to signal support for an issue laying the groundwork for future legislation; and 2) they put vulnerable senators on record on issues that the other party will use in campaign ads.

Yesterday, for example, Sen Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, introduced a motion that would have repealed Obamacare’s job-killing medical device tax. It passed 79-20, meaning the issue will almost certainly show up in its own bill later this term.

Democrats also brought up the Ryan budget operating on the belief voting for it would be a problem for some Republicans in purple states. But only Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Dean Heller, R-Nev., voted against the Ryan budget because it cut too much spending. The other non-Ryan votes came from the right. Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, all voted no because the Ryan budget did not cut spending fast enough.

Votes are expected to begin again at 11 am this morning and continue late through the night and possibly into Saturday.

From The Washington Examiner
Pew, Obama Job Approval Slips as Economic Pessimism Rises: Barack Obama’s job approval rating has tumbled since shortly after his re-election, as the public’s economic expectations for the coming year have soured.
Examiner Editorial: How influence peddlers evade ethics law
Byron York: Is border secure? Administration doesn’t have a clue
Mona Charen: Republicans should prepare for the collapse of Obamacare
Michael Barone: Progressive taxes produce volatile revenue streams
Conn Carroll: Jerry Brown to borrow $8.6 billion for high speed rail plan a majority California voters oppose

In Other News
The Wall Street Journal, Health Insurers Warn on Premiums: Health insurers are privately warning brokers that premiums for many individuals and small businesses could increase sharply next year because of the health-care overhaul law.
The Washington Post, Betting the farm — for a green card: U.S. visa program allows foreigners to gain permanent residence by investing $500K in a U.S. project that creates at least 10 jobs.
The New York Times, Obama Urges Young Israelis to Lead the Push for Peace: President Obama, appealing to very disparate audiences to solve one of the world’s thorniest problems, moved closer on Thursday to the Israeli government’s position on resuming long-stalled peace talks with the Palestinians, even as he passionately implored young Israelis to get ahead of their own leaders in the push for peace.

Lefty Playbook
Greg Sargent says Democrats will run on guns, gays, and the minimum wage in 2014.
David Dayen on the growing left/right consensus to break up the big banks.
Matthew Yglesisas says big banks are great.

Righty Playbook
AJ Delgado explains why amnesty will not help Republicans with Hispanic voters.
Mark Krikorian shows how Brookings manipulated their latest pro-amnesty poll.
Veronique de Rugy on What The Federal Government Can Learn From Some of the States’ ‘Stand Aside’ Policies.