Senate Democrats Say They’re Not Going To Pass A Budget In 2012 Either

Congress hasn’t passed a budget since 2009, the first year of President Obama’s presidency. The nation (despite Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad’s claims to the contrary) hasn’t had a budget for over 1,000 days now.

And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is saying that 2012 won’t see a budget passed by Congress either.

Senate Democratic leaders do not plan to propose a budget this year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters Friday, saying that they had already done so with the debt-ceiling agreement.

“We do not need to bring a budget to the floor this year — it’s done, we don’t need to do it,” Reid said, according to The Hill.

Democrats have said that the agreement reached to raise the debt ceiling set spending for Fiscal Year 2012.

North Dakota Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad, chairman of the Budget Committee, has said he will mark up a budget resolution this year, per an agreement he made with Budget Committee ranking member and Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions.

Technically, Conrad marking up a budget resolution, but not ever bringing it to the floor, per Reid’s comments, does not violate that agreement, conceded a Republican aide, but the staffer went on to blast Reid’s comment.

“What’s the point of marking up a budget if you’re not going to bring it to the floor for debate and vote?” fumed the Republican aide.

In past years, the decision by Democrats to pass on budgeting was a political calculation. Their spending has been obscenely profligate, even by the standards of a federal government that has become notorious for excess, and passing a budget would only put a magnifying glass to that inconvenient truth for Democrats.

So it’s not necessarily surprising that, in a presidential election year, Democrats would again not want to pass a budget. But it’s a strategy that’s more of a gamble this year than years past. Even the most partisan of Democrat voters have to be wondering why it is Congress won’t do its job. Budgeting and appropriating are central to Congress’ constitutional mandate. If Congress isn’t passing budgets (and no, the debt deal which created the super committee wasn’t a budget) then they aren’t doing their jobs.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • mickey_moussaoui


  • sanity

    In my opinion, and don’t care if it is left or right in there, but if you have no budget, then there is no spending, no borrowing, nothing that costs money should be passed out of the Senate till a Budget has been approved and is being worked within.

  • Neiman

    If you do not pass it – no one can criticize the socialist nature of the thing. Smart really, just pass general budget resolutions and stay out of the target area.

  • Kevin Flanagan

    Gaylord has been phoning it in for years, when he’s bothered to call at all.

    • $8194357

      Bought and paid for!
       Ya that’s Comrad Kent for sure…

  • suitepotato

    If they passed an actual budget, it would reveal the truth that they accelerated spending over Bush’s rates by leaps and bounds. They want it scatted across appropriations bills and resolutions to obfuscate it.

  • Jimmypop

    i logistically, legally dont understand how this can even happen.

    how can any public body spend money if nobody votes to spend the money?

  • $8194357

    We are Democrats…We don’t need no stinking budget…We own the world…..
    I believe both sides know how close to ‘collapse” we really are and are just busy padding their nests and gaining “favor” in the next ‘go around”…

  • Thresherman

    At the end of the day, it is about accountability and the Democrats want to avoid that like the plague.  The Democrats may be many things, but being politically stupid is not one of them.  They know that if this election comes down to a referendum on the Democrats performance over the last 4 years, it will be a blood bath for them. 
    As a result, they have made it policy to appear to be doing much while actually doing nothing.  Conrad, as part of the Democratic leadership, knew that this political tactic would be political suicide in his home state so, to paraphrase Monty Python, Brave Sir Conrad, bravely ran away.
    And now he is running away again.  When he announced that he would not seek re-election, Conrad said that he would devote his remaining time to our fiscal crisis.  What he is doing instead, is acting as a rear guard trying to protect his fellow Democrats from being exposed to the light of day.  It is therefore fitting that in his final role as Senator, he is doing as he has always done when faced with the choice, he is putting his party before his constituents.   
    As for filthy Harry & Co. they need be exposed for what they are and the upcoming campaign is just the time to do it.

    • $8194357

      Again…To true for school…

  • Hal712

    Children are running our country.  This is how we ended up $16 Trillion in debt. 

    Conrad, please just leave, you have nothing to offer.

  • Kevin Flanagan

    Jack-the-bankrupt-hack defends his buddy, Gaylord.
    “LEAFY SPURGE: To partisans who continue to bleat the falsehood that Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., has never produced a budget that passed Congress. Even a few North Dakota legislators, apparently confused by the bitterness of their partisanship, continue to mouth the lie. Fact is, Conrad, who is chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, was involved in the bipartisan Budget Control Act, which contained a federal budget; the act was passed with bipartisan support by the Senate and House. It received strong support from Democrats and Republicans, including all three members of North Dakota’s delegation. So when Republican state lawmakers are tempted to repeat phony party boilerplate about Conrad and the federal budget, they might want to check with their Republican brethren in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House.”

  • howiseeit

    I love the picture of Kent…..He looks like he just grabbed back the candy that someone tried to take from him.