Top Senate Democrat disputes talk that Congress will fail to pass a budget

Jon Ward Contributor
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The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee on Wednesday disputed rumors that have surfaced this week that the Democratic-controlled Congress will not produce a budget this year.

“That’s not the signal that’s been given to me. The signal I’m getting is we’re good to go,” said Sen. Kent Conrad, North Dakota Democrat.

“I’ve been given a green light by the leadership that we’re going to go to the floor” with a budget, Conrad said, speaking to reporters at the Capitol.

Conrad said he had spoken to House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt, South Carolina Democrat, and said he was “fully committed” to passing a budget as well.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that while Democrats “would like to pass the budget, we have to see whether we have the votes to do so.”

“It’s difficult to pass budgets in election years,” said Hoyer, Maryland Democrat.

If the Congress did not pass a budget, it would still be able to tax and spend, but would have less discretion over controlling spending.

Sen. Judd Gregg, the Republican ranking member on the Budget Committee, said that if Democrats don’t pass a budget it’s because they “don’t want to disclose” that they are “going to take this country down the road of massive debt and bankrupt our nation.”

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