WASHINGTON — Some senators have tried to ban the process. Others simply say it’s the worst part of their jobs.
Even Senator Robert C. Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat who created and fortified some of the chamber’s most complex rules before his death, warned the so-called vote-a-rama process could “send some old men to their deaths.”
Still on Tuesday, as the Senate turned to a $3.5 trillion budget blueprint that begins the Democrats’ push to expand the social safety net, the tradition of considering hours upon hours of nonbinding budget amendments will once again get underway — with senators forcing politically sensitive votes on their rivals as campaign operatives compile a record for possible attack ads.
Only one vote really matters: If all 50 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents give final approval to the blueprint, Senate committees can begin work this fall on the most significant expansion of the safety net…