Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee were not happy that two Republican Budget Committee chairmen snubbed the White House from an invitation to discuss the commander in chief’s $4.1 trillion final budget proposal unveiled Tuesday.
Ranking Member Bernie Sanders and nine other lawmakers sent a letter Monday to Sen. Mike Enzi, slamming the Wyoming Republican’s decision not to hold the hearing, arguing it is “disrespectful to all of the hard work that went into producing this expansive document.”
Enzi and Rep. [crscore]Tom Price[/crscore] of Georgia announced the unprecedented move last week, saying they felt their time would be better spent working on their own proposal rather than listening to Director of the Office of Management and Budget Shaun Donovan’s testimony.
“It appears the president’s final budget will continue to focus on new spending proposals instead of confronting our government’s massive overspending and debt,” Enzi said in a joint statement with Price. “It is clear that this President will not put forth the budget effort that our times and our country require. Instead of hearing from an administration unconcerned with our $19 trillion in debt, we should focus on how to reform America’s broken budget process and restore the trust of hardworking taxpayers.”
Democrats said the GOP is not living up to its call to restore regular order and claimed they were given “no reasonable explanation” for the decision.
“This is the first time in the committee’s history that it has not held a hearing to discuss the president’s budget,” they wrote.”Even in 2004, when all Senate office buildings closed because of the presence of the toxin ricin in a Senate office, the Senate Budget Committee held a hearing on the president’s budget request.”
The administration also expressed its discontent on the issue last Friday, comparing the move to 2016 presidential hopeful Donald Trump opting out of the last Fox News primary debate.
“It also raises some questions about how confident they are in the concert arguments that they could make about the budget,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at a press briefing Friday. “Maybe they are taking the Donald Trump approach to debates about the budget. They are just not going to show up.”
Democrats in the House sent a similar letter expressing their dismay to Chairman Price Monday.
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