Hoyer: Yeah, we’re punting the budget this year

posted at 4:33 pm on June 22, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The primary responsibility of Congress under the Constitution is to pass a budget for the federal government.  The Democrats have a 77-seat majority in the House and an 18-seat majority in the Senate, where filibusters won’t apply anyway on budgetary matters.  Barack Obama’s presidency gives them a clear path to passing whatever budget Democrats desire for FY2011.  And so, obviously, all of this has proven too much of a hurdle for Democrats to overcome, as Steny Hoyer admitted today:

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer made official Tuesday morning what most insiders have known for months: Congress won’t do a budget this year.

Instead, Democrats are pushing an alternative route that falls well short of the more rigorous annual budget resolution — a short-term resolution that will call for discretionary spending lower than in President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget. But he said Congress wouldn’t take longer-term budget action before hearing from Obama’s fiscal commission in December. Republicans have lambasted Democrats for not passing a budget resolution, saying that’s the first time it’s happened since 1976.

John Boehner wasted no time in blasting his counterparts across the aisle for dereliction of their first duty:

Republicans have already seized on the budgetary inaction. Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) sent out a mocking statement that said: “We regret to inform you that the congressional budget for fiscal year 2011 has been canceled due to Washington Democrats’ out-of-control spending spree.”

Debra Saunders notes that Democrats had defined such a failure in stark terms just four years ago:

“If you can’t budget, you can’t govern,” Rep. John Spratt Jr., D-S.C., proclaimed in 2006 when the House GOP leadership chose to dispense with passing a budget resolution.

Now that the Dems run the House, Spratt is chairman of its Budget Committee and the April 15 deadline for passing a budget resolution is a niggling detail, easily ignored. House Democrats have decided to not even try to pass a budget resolution before this fiscal year expires on Sept. 30 – and may well delay passage until after the November elections. …

But this year, Democrats won’t pass a budget resolution – which means there will be no limit on spending in next year’s 12 spending authorization bills. Democratic proposals to cut budgets by 2 percent won’t see a floor vote.

As the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget noted last month, “The very reasonable push to reduce some discretionary spending has left the House unable to agree on a plan.” In short, D.C. lawmakers cannot curb the growth in government spending to save their own necks.

“Saving their own necks” is what this is all about.  The Democrats in Congress believe what Rep. Gerry Connolly told the LA Times, which is that no member of Congress ever lost an election because of a failure to pass a budget.  They don’t want to be on the hook for the hard decisions that must come in FY2011, which is either to drastically reduce spending from the binge levels of the last three Democratic Congresses, or to raise taxes to cover it.  Spending cuts won’t change voter perception of this Congress at this late date — and tax hikes will make it worse.

Spratt is right — a failure to budget is a failure to govern.  Democrats seem intent on proving their unworthiness to lead Congress in even its most basic tasks.  At the same time, their leadership wants voters to trust them to make the most personal of decisions in their health care, as well as believe that they can cool the planet and lower the sea level with punitive taxes on energy production and boondoggles in alternative energy.  They can’t even govern themselves.


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Quick, what else can we get out and buried today?

motionview on June 22, 2010 at 4:35 PM

So does this mean we could end up with way more than 1 1/2 trillion bucks for the annual deficit? After all, how can you project a deficit without first having a budget?

Doughboy on June 22, 2010 at 4:36 PM

Quitters.

the_nile on June 22, 2010 at 4:37 PM

At the same time, their leadership wants voters to trust them to make the most personal of decisions in their health care, as well as believe that they can cool the planet and lower the sea level with punitive taxes on energy production and boondoggles in alternative energy. They can’t even govern themselves.

such is the liberal arrogance….can’t pass a budget but they think they can cool the earth a tenth of a degree. math is hard but climate is easy???

ted c on June 22, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Fire them.

Abby Adams on June 22, 2010 at 4:39 PM

C’mon Steny, we built the Erie Canal didn’t we!!

Caper29 on June 22, 2010 at 4:40 PM

I want these people in charge of every American’s health care. NOW!

Bishop on June 22, 2010 at 4:40 PM

In any other job, they’d all be fired.

Hopefully, a few will in just a few months.

DrAllecon on June 22, 2010 at 4:41 PM

How will we pay for the fly?
http://www.drudgereport.com/

bloggless on June 22, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Corrupt and Cowardly.
Great combination.

jjshaka on June 22, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Can’t we just leave them alone and let them enjoy their waffles?

dirtseller on June 22, 2010 at 4:42 PM

if you’re an investor, this is going to be a long, cold winter. Why? One word – uncertainty.

rock the casbah on June 22, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Accountability..

the_nile on June 22, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Not dereliction just an underhanded power grab tarted up as an “alternative route”.

Dereliction is far too kind

clnurnberg on June 22, 2010 at 4:45 PM

How will we pay for the fly?
http://www.drudgereport.com/

bloggless on June 22, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Kind of reminds me of those poor children from Kenya.

dirtseller on June 22, 2010 at 4:45 PM

OT:

McChrystal gone. Resigned.

Oil Can on June 22, 2010 at 4:45 PM

If this isn’t the capper on Democratic Failure in Congress…

They think this won’t resonate in November? Not tar all Dems with the stain of inaction in the face of fiscal crisis?

I think they’re wrong. This is going to be a big deal.

heldmyw on June 22, 2010 at 4:47 PM

These Democrats make me sick.

myrenovations on June 22, 2010 at 4:47 PM

OT:

McChrystal gone. Resigned.

Oil Can on June 22, 2010 at 4:45 PM

So goes Obama’s good war.

bloggless on June 22, 2010 at 4:47 PM

If I don’t do my job, I don’t get paid. I want my money back please.

(opts not to hold breath while waiting)

sisterchristian on June 22, 2010 at 4:49 PM

How will we pay for the fly?
http://www.drudgereport.com/

bloggless on June 22, 2010 at 4:41 PM

/insert joke about a fly being drawn to bulls*it.

Abby Adams on June 22, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Dems: Let’s party like it’s 2010…

d1carter on June 22, 2010 at 4:52 PM

I just don’t know what to say about these people. The Constitution just seems to be a menu where you can pick and choose the things that they want.

Cindy Munford on June 22, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Oh and Hoyer had something else to say:

In the shorter term, Hoyer raised the possibility that Congress will only temporarily extend middle-class tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year. He pointedly suggested that making them permanent would be too costly.

Tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush are scheduled to expire at the end of the year, affecting taxpayers at every income level. President Barack Obama proposes to permanently extend them for individuals making less than $200,000 a year and families making less than $250,000—at a cost of about $2.5 trillion over the next decade.

“As the House and Senate debate what to do with the expiring Bush tax cuts in the coming weeks, we need to have a serious discussion about their implications for our fiscal outlook, including whether we can afford to permanently extend them before we have a real plan for long-term deficit reduction,” said Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat.

Thats right, the Middle Class are now openly in the crosshairs.

rob verdi on June 22, 2010 at 4:54 PM

Californication!

WashJeff on June 22, 2010 at 4:56 PM

Did McChrystal really resign? Linky

sandee on June 22, 2010 at 4:57 PM

For our next trick, watch us saw this lady’s income in half.

- Nancy Pelosi

MJBrutus on June 22, 2010 at 4:57 PM

The GOP has no time to criticize this. They must stay focused on punishing Joe Barton.

Bugler on June 22, 2010 at 4:57 PM

such is the liberal arrogance….can’t pass a budget but they think they can cool the earth a tenth of a degree. math is hard but climate is easy???

ted c on June 22, 2010 at 4:38 PM

… and the liberal ignorance is they think they can measure the temperature — for the entire globe — to within an accuracy of a tenth of a degree.

ya2daup on June 22, 2010 at 4:59 PM

We can put a man on the moon, but we can’t plug the hole or pass a budget.

ctmom on June 22, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Great! Does this mean the government isn’t going to waste any of my money next year? Can hardly wait for that big tax rebate check. Long live the 111th Congress.

Tommy_G on June 22, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Epic

.

.

.

Fail!!

JohnGalt23 on June 22, 2010 at 5:02 PM

They wouldn’t follow it anyway, so why bother?

Vashta.Nerada on June 22, 2010 at 5:05 PM

But this year, Democrats won’t pass a budget resolution – which means there will be no limit on spending in next year’s 12 spending authorization bills.

There shouldn’t be any spending without a budget. Instead they get rewarded with unlimited spending? This is insane.

Looks like the Constitution and tax payers will be hardest hit again.

forest on June 22, 2010 at 5:06 PM

Lets not forget that these are the same Democrats who REFUSED to send their 2008 budget to president Bush as they should have, knowing he would veto it, and instead held it over until after Obama was sworn into office the next year so that he could sign it.

The most treacherous congress in my lifetime.

American Elephant on June 22, 2010 at 5:06 PM

Is the Legacy Media reporting on this?

visions on June 22, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Congressional budget training:

Step 1 – Find your ass with both hands.

nico on June 22, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Impeachment now!

ultracon on June 22, 2010 at 5:22 PM

Just wondering…does this have any impact on all of the “Budget Reconciliation” crap that was passed i.e. healthcare? I assume that the previous year’s budget would apply for healthcare, but just wondering about future boondoggles that these thieves will try to push through if there is no budget to reconcile to…

Cliveclone17 on June 22, 2010 at 5:24 PM

How will we pay for the fly?
http://www.drudgereport.com/

bloggless on June 22, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Isn’t it a metaphor for the guy’s term?

Before: Obama swats flies away like they are nothing.

Now: Flies sit on Obama’s face like he’s a pile of crap.

lorien1973 on June 22, 2010 at 5:27 PM

Cliveclone17 on June 22, 2010 at 5:24 PM

It’s brilliant, really. No budget, no budget deficit!

Next on the agenda:

1. A Manhattan project to invent a perpetual motion machine to solve the energy problem along with green jobs to make them.

2. Repeal of the law of supply and demand to solve the Obama-care overruns.

3. Sending all the Jews in Israel back to Germany and Poland so that we will finally have world peace.

4. A golf course on the WH grounds. After all, who deserves it more?

MJBrutus on June 22, 2010 at 5:33 PM

profiles in cowardice

sonofdy on June 22, 2010 at 5:33 PM

We can put a man on the moon, but we can’t plug the hole or pass a budget.

ctmom on June 22, 2010 at 5:00 PM

USED TO be able to put a man on the moon. USED TO BE ABLE TO.

sonofdy on June 22, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Give the poor Dems a break already, wingnuts! They’ve got a full plate what with Obama’s wars, the catastrophe in the Gulf, and all the bailing and nationalizing, bossing the world around sans spell check, shredding the Bill of Rights, bringing lawsuits, finger-pointing, cooking up a second Great Depression, never letting a good crisis go to waste, taxing the middle class and small businesses out of existence, stacking the SCOTUS with as many dumb prog broads as they can dredge up, shoving fascist nanny state legislation down the people’s throats and preparing for the midterm elections to attend to their actual Constitutional duties!

Geeze! Priorities, people!

Rae on June 22, 2010 at 5:38 PM

if you’re an investor, this is going to be a long, cold winter. Why? One word – uncertainty.

rock the casbah on June 22, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Don’t forget the lame duck Congress. Those people decimated democrats will be dangerous as heck this Winter.

SouthernGent on June 22, 2010 at 5:40 PM

Rae on June 22, 2010 at 5:38 PM

You’re so right. The poor guy can hardly even get in 18 holes with all that on his plate.

MJBrutus on June 22, 2010 at 5:41 PM

if you’re an investor, this is going to be a long, cold winter. Why? One word – uncertainty.

rock the casbah on June 22, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Sure, but don’t forget about the certainties as well! We’re certain to have the Bush tax cuts expire and increased taxes on capital gains and dividends, for example.

MJBrutus on June 22, 2010 at 5:43 PM

The Democrats can now say that they have eliminated the budget deficit. No budget, no deficit.

crosspatch on June 22, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Then why did Orzag resign? Wouldn’t this make his job a whole lot easier? No budget… we can spend whatever we want. Or maybe he’s just not needed anymore.

One thing is for sure, President Palin is going to need more than a mop to clean up this mess.

UnderstandingisPower on June 22, 2010 at 5:54 PM

They won’t pass the budget resolution because they know it’d be a Louisville Slugger with which they’d get knocked out of the park in November.

Seldom does one see something so cravenly political…okay, well, only a few times a week does one see something so cravenly political from this Congress.

JEM on June 22, 2010 at 5:57 PM

Ok, then they need to go home and not return until the 2011 session begins as the power of the purse it the congress’s primary givlomh duty!

Nathan_OH on June 22, 2010 at 6:03 PM

I’ve known people in my life who were fired from their jobs, for far less derelection of duty. So the obvious solution…….FIRE THEM ALL!!!!!

capejasmine on June 22, 2010 at 6:08 PM

We can put a man on the moon, but we the clown posse can’t plug the hole or pass a budget.

ctmom on June 22, 2010 at 5:00 PM

FIFY.

We can do almost anything we set our minds to, but that means we have to vote every election and not allow a dumbass and his lickspittle sycophants get elected.

dogsoldier on June 22, 2010 at 6:10 PM

FIRE THEM ALL!!!!!
Bork them all, God will know his own.

motionview on June 22, 2010 at 6:23 PM

No budget. No pay. Sounds reasonable to me.

GarandFan on June 22, 2010 at 6:34 PM

“If you can’t budget, you can’t govern,” Rep. John Spratt Jr., D-S.C., proclaimed in 2006 when the House GOP leadership chose to dispense with passing a budget resolution.

Good plan Dems, follow the lead of the GOP in 2006; that was a great year for the GOP and those are some footsteps you need to follow.

Don’t bother looking to see how it turned out, you know you’ve been blaming Bush and the Republicans for everything pre-2008 so clearly this worked and they held the majorities in the House and Senate with this trick.

I hope you have the same success holding majorities in the House and Senate that the GOP had in 2006 with this gimmick. It’s definitely a winner and something you should crow about in triumph… you’re going the way of the GOP in 2006… hooray.

gekkobear on June 22, 2010 at 6:47 PM

We should have a constitutional amendment that says that failing the passage of a budget, there are no Congressional salaries AND pension payments.

Passage of the budget is the PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY of the House of Representatives. EVERY other function is secondary to that responsibility.

If this House can not produce its primary reason for being, how do they justify their existence?

crosspatch on June 22, 2010 at 6:47 PM

Where is the Budget .. Nancy ??

J_Crater on June 22, 2010 at 6:49 PM

… I forgot .. it’s George W. Bush’s fault that there is no budget (when by law it should have been passed by April 15th)

J_Crater on June 22, 2010 at 6:51 PM

Republicans have lambasted Democrats for not passing a budget resolution, saying that’s the first time it’s happened since 1976.

Jimmah!!! Part Deux!

Jason Coleman on June 22, 2010 at 7:45 PM

I note the following line in Boehner’s press release:

AN APOLOGY FOR THIS BETRAYAL OF AMERICAN TAXPAYERS DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE FORTHCOMING AT THIS TIME.

Coming from the ‘pubby leadership, that’s got to give Joe Barton a laugh.

PersonFromPorlock on June 22, 2010 at 8:55 PM

…in 2006 when the House GOP leadership chose to dispense with passing a budget resolution…

Wait.

You mean Republicans did this in 2006? And now Democrats are doing this in 2010?

Shouldn’t we have the common decency to shut the hell up?

moochy on June 23, 2010 at 8:25 AM

No budget. No pay legislating. Sounds reasonable to me.

GarandFan on June 22, 2010 at 6:34 PM

FIFY.

The only thing they really want is to put their stamp on more legislation. Take that away from them as an incentive to do their jobs.

VekTor on June 23, 2010 at 2:57 PM