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.
“It’s been more than 1,000 days since Senate Democrats have offered a budget plan to the American people. Now, once again, the Senate’s ineffectual Democrat majority balks at the task of leadership,” said Sessions in a statement.
“He obviously continues in his belief that it would be politically foolish for his members to go on record in support of any long-term vision. But by refusing to lay out a budget plan for public examination—a fact no one can deny—the Democrat Senate has forfeited the high privilege to lead this chamber,” he went on.
Sessions contended that Conrad’s promise to mark up a budget resolution was not adequate.
“Budget Control Act spending caps, crafted behind closed doors and rushed to passage at the 11th hour under threat of panic, do not even approach the definition of the budget process that the law requires. They are not in any way or any sense a Senate Democrat budget plan. There is no argument that can be made that these caps are a long-term vision for this country—not on taxes, not on entitlements, not on spending, not on debt,” he said. “Presumably, this obvious fact is why Chairman Conrad has said he will mark up a budget in our Committee.”
“[T]his process will be eviscerated if Sen. Reid refuses to allow a budget resolution to come to the floor,” said Sessions.