Why come up with proposals of your own when you can just roadblock Republican budget proposals and accuse them of being the problem? And keep in mind that Reid is hardly alone in this partisan trickery. Senator Kent Conrad, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, is happy to sit on the sidelines as well.
“There’s no need to have a Democratic budget, in my opinion,” Reid told the Los Angeles Times last week. “It would be foolish for us to do a budget at this stage.” Instead, Reid wants to wait to see if the deficit-reduction meetings led by Vice President Biden bear any fruit. Before that, Reid wanted to wait for the Gang of Six — now nearly defunct — to come up with something.
Sessions was appalled when he read Reid’s words. “It was a fundamental statement that they’re playing politics,” Sessions said. “They don’t think it’s politically smart to produce a budget. They’d rather produce nothing and attack Paul Ryan and the Republicans and think they’re going to gain politically by avoiding their fundamental statutory responsibility. It’s pretty breathtaking to me.”
Reid isn’t alone. The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Kent Conrad, is also happy to not produce a budget. Last week, he told reporters that he planned to “defer” work on a 2012 budget indefinitely.
The law requires that the Congress pass a budget by April 15th of every year, and yet the Senate hasn’t passed a budget since April 29th of 2009. Meaning that even as the federal government bailed out banks and nationalized car companies, even as they pushed “cash for clunkers” and passed the biggest government foray into health care since Medicare became law, they’ve been neglecting their most basic responsibility which is managing the budget of the nation.
Keep in mind that House Republicans passed a budget in April – the controversial Ryan budget which includes reforms for Medicare – and while Democrats have attacked that plan they’ve offered no alternatives.
How can they say that they’re serious about addressing the national debt and deficit if they’ll only attack Republican proposals to do so while offering nothing of their own?