The bitterly partisan vote today that changed the Senate rules to allow judicial and executive branch nominations through with a simple majority vote, makes even a small budget deal less likely, lawmakers say.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Senator Ted Cruz called the change, "yet another abuse of power by Democrats" and predicted it would "poison the atmosphere" in the Senate.
The acrimony of the Democrats decision to change the filibuster rules after Republicans blocked one nominee after another is poisoning an already difficult atmosphere in the Senate.
In the special budget committee, scheduled to finish its work in three weeks, and there were hopes for a small deal to partially replace the across the board cuts from sequestration. That's only possible with some Republican support which will be more difficult after today's vote.
(Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter.)