In The Last Budget Cycle Of His Career, The Budget Hawk Punts
Senator Kent Conrad, who has made a career out of cutting a historic figure as a self-styled “budget hawk” (even if it was more words than deeds), was supposed to start marking up a budget in his Senate Budget Committee yesterday. It was supposed to be a historic push toward some level of fiscal sanity for a member of a party that has sought to avoid the budget process since 2009.
But something funny happened on the way to the committee meeting. Conrad didn’t actually introduce a budget. He introduced a report from the Simpson-Bowles committee and called it a budget. Then he announced that the budget would be marked up, indefinitely, with no committee vote coming until after the election.
Proving once again that for all his talk and bluster about fiscal matters, Senator Conrad is really no better than any of the other Democrat budget escape artists.
Senate Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad (D., N.D.) will not draft a Democratic budget before the 2012 election, he announced Tuesday.
Instead of going through the traditional markup process in the committee, Conrad said he would introduce the 2010 report drafted by the Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission, and then indefinitely delay a vote in order to allow time for “negotiations.”
In all likelihood, Conrad told reporters on Capitol Hill, lawmakers would not come to an agreement until after the November election.
Conrad said his intention was to offer “a blueprint to build a bipartisan agreement.” A traditional budget, authored and supported by Democrats, he added, was “probably not going to help.”
Senate Democrats have yet to offer a formal budget resolution in nearly three years, in violation of federal law.
The article speculates that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may have “pulled the plug” on Conrad’s efforts, thus the punt with the Simpson-Bowles report, but that’s really on excuse for Conrad. He’s in his last term. He’s got nothing to lose.
As I’ve been saying for some time, the national budget process will be better for Senator Conrad no longer being being a part of it. The less double-talking phonies involved the better.Tags: deficits, harry reid, Kent Conrad, national debt