WASHINGTON — Republicans muscled a balanced-budget plan through the U.S. Senate early Friday that included an amendment granting Veteran’s Affairs and Social Security benefits to married same-sex couples.
Eleven GOP senators, many of whom face competitive re-election fights in 2016, supported the amendment offered by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).
Sens. Rob Portman (Ohio), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Ron Johnson (Wisc), Mark Kirk (Ill.), and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) were among the co-signers.
Article continues belowThree GOP Senators who are expected to announce presidential bids fpr 2016 – Marco Rubio (Fla.), Rand Paul (Ky.), and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) – voted against granting benefits, as did early presidential contender Ted Cruz (Texas).
The amendment passed 57–43.
The Senate was beginning a spring recess after approving the measure, leaving Congress’ two GOP-run chambers to negotiate a compromise budget in mid-April. The legislation is a non-binding blueprint that does not require Obama’s signature.