The Washington Examiner points out in an editorial something I’ve been noting for a while. The last time the US Senate, under the leadership of Senate Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad, passed a budget was April of 2009. That budget was for fiscal year 2010. Counting today, 768 days have passed since then.
By law (which, apparently, Congress doesn’t have to follow) a budget must be passed by Congress by April 15th every year. Last year, the Democrat-controlled Congress didn’t pass a budget at all. This year, the Republican-controlled House passed a budget by the deadline. The Senate, however, hasn’t passed anything.
Reports are that Senator Conrad has a budget, though, that he’ll be introducing soon. The problem is that when he introduces it, he’s going to jam it down the throats of the opposition party.
The April 15 deadline came and went again this year without any public budget documents from Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D. It has now been 768 days since the Democratic-controlled Senate last passed a budget. That momentous event took place on April 3, 2009, for fiscal 2010. The problem now is not that Senate Democrats do not have a budget proposal for 2012; Conrad spent a full day explaining it to the Democratic caucus last week. The snag is that many of Conrad’s Democratic colleagues hate it. They reportedly think it cuts too much spending and doesn’t raise taxes enough. And now Conrad is telling the budget panel’s ranking Republican, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., that Republicans will have to vote on a committee markup of the document just minutes after he releases it to the public either Monday or Tuesday. Call it the Democratic stealth budget.
This just goes to show how little the Democrats learned from the election. After jamming the stimulus bill and Obamacare and all manner of other legislation without even a pretense of a transparent process and a thorough debate the public revolted. Democrats were targeted by angry town hall protesters and tea party rallies.
Now, after losing control of the House and losing some seats in the Senate, they continue the old games.
And North Dakota’s Senator Kent Conrad, despite promising to be a leader on budget issues, is central to the partisan game-playing.