Where’s the Senate’s budget?

posted at 10:12 am on April 8, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

As the press hyperventilates over the threat of a government shutdown and pushes the last-minute-hero meme coming from the White House, here’s something to keep in mind that I haven’t seen discussed much in the last few weeks.  Where, exactly, is the Senate budget?

So far, we have heard plenty about the radical Republicans and their demand to defund Planned Parenthood as the major stumbling blocks to getting a budget deal done.  This leaves out at least half of the story.  The House passed a full-year budget weeks ago, HR1, which was rejected by the Senate on the same day that a Democratic-leadership-approved budget also failed — by a wider margin than the GOP plan.

Normally, when a House plan fails in the Senate, the Senate passes its own budget plan in response.  The two chambers then form a conference committee to reach a compromise that produces a budget.  However, this process requires that the Senate actually approve a budget on its own.   Since voting down HR1 and the Democratic plan, the Senate hasn’t done anything — which means it has gone more than 18 months without approving a budget of some kind.

Instead of negotiating on a bipartisan basis in conference, the Senate’s failure has the Democrats and Barack Obama grandstanding in public, despite their party’s refusal to budget at all.  The media has allowed this to continue rather than ask why the Senate just doesn’t pass a budget and launch a conference committee to iron out the differences.  The result is this public kabuki dance in which the one chamber of Congress that actually produced a budget — and another continuing resolution — gets blamed for the lack of a budget as funding runs out, rather than the chamber that hasn’t done its job for more than 18 months.

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Democrats just running out the clock.

Unfortunately, they mistakenly think they are in the lead.

fossten on April 8, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Where’s the Senate’s budget??

Drive it home, Ed.

Make it loud. Call ’em on it, loud, strong and often.

coldwarrior on April 8, 2011 at 10:14 AM

I am disappointed in the ability of the Senate to man up and do the job that they are paid to do. The Senate Majority Leader has failed in his duties to produce a budget in order to fund the operations of the US Federal Government. He will reap the consequences along with the others who are complicit in this escapade.

ted c on April 8, 2011 at 10:17 AM

MBM does not believe that anyone in fly over country will notice such a small detail.

yenober on April 8, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Democrat strategy in the budget battle is analogous to their declared victory over Prosser…
Cue Howard Dean Scream…

mjbrooks3 on April 8, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Spot on Ed!

The lsm won’t bring that little Tidbit up….its all planned parenthood all the time..you notice there is not a lot of gop folks going on air….wish they would so they can say exactly what Ed is saying here

cmsinaz on April 8, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Fox just repoted that Reid is saying that they have brokered a deal at 38 billion. Boehner to speak at 10:25 Eastern. What will he say? The way this morning’s been going, he’ll probably repudiate Dinghy Harry.

kingsjester on April 8, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Hell, where was the budget last fall?

Everyone on the Dem side wants to abdicate responsibility in favor of trying to foster the perception of “I’ve never done anything wrong” likability.

You either lead or you follow. The Dems have become followers because when they lead, they do horribly unpopular things. And just carping from the backseat while the Republicans drive is also unpopular.

It’s gotta suck when the agenda you promote is so bad and hurtful you have to hide it from public view. Your only option then is to follow and try to be sneaky and deceptive.

beatcanvas on April 8, 2011 at 10:20 AM

“HEY! Yeah!”
– America

cjtony97 on April 8, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Cut my teeth on the ‘truth’ that free enterprise will fill in the gaps. So where is the gap being filled in journalism? The country is screaming for just the news, just reporting. Where are the smart pockets working to fill the gap and reap the rewards? Please don’t say it is the blogs. The sheeple can’t read, or won’t read, them.

Limerick on April 8, 2011 at 10:23 AM

The Democrats should have had a budget in October when they controlled the House, Senate and White House. They said NO.

They could have passed a budget in the lame duck session. They said NO.

The Republicans passed a budget 47 days ago.
The Senate Democrats did nothing.

The Democrats have decided to say; “NO WE WILL NOT DO OUR JOB”

The Rock on April 8, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Where’s the Senates version of the budget?

Well you can’t expect them to write anything they can’t possibly comprehend. You say cut to a Dem, and well…that might explain Reids hair.

capejasmine on April 8, 2011 at 10:27 AM

$38 whole billion? Hey great, that savings will dry up in about two weeks.

These fuds, on both sides, are not serious about the problem.

Bishop on April 8, 2011 at 10:28 AM

The dog ate it.

obladioblada on April 8, 2011 at 10:28 AM

The Senate’s budget is pending in Obama’s brain

Gee. It all makes sense now.

Key West Reader on April 8, 2011 at 10:32 AM

The debt limit and piecemeal budgeting.

The latter lets you fund what is necessary.

The former tells you when you have run out of money to spend.

Together they allow for the few vital functions of government to be funded, and the rest to go hang. By stopping the CR on abortion the D’s are making this option extremely attractive. They can’t very well stop the necessary parts of the government from being funded that don’t have abortion language in them… and if they hold up the piece that does, then the next piece will be for something else.

Let the D’s figure out which parts of the government they want to go away by not funding them!

And when the money runs out, that’s it for the budget, and by then you are in the discretionary portion…. at the discretion of Congress to fund. If the Senate does want parts funded that are discretionary, well fine.

Just prioritize so the stuff mentioned in the Constitution gets funded first. And hold up EVERYTHING behind those essential parts until they are passed and signed into law. Then the House can see if there is any money left…

For $2 Trillion/year they ought to be able to run a government, no?

ajacksonian on April 8, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Democrats, led by Reid and Ø, are OBSTRUCTIONISTS! It has to be their way or the highway even if the government shuts down and the warriors are worried to distraction about the welfare and safety of their families because of pay lapses.
Those are two arrogant, lying bastards.

ExpressoBold on April 8, 2011 at 10:37 AM

why the Senate just doesn’t pass a budget and launch a conference committee to iron out the differences.

Because the Senate leader is busy with cowboy poetry.

antisocial on April 8, 2011 at 10:44 AM

If Boehner caves in at $38 billion I’ll be furious.

Naturally Curly on April 8, 2011 at 10:47 AM

The Demorats haven’t produced a budget in two years. They didn’t make one last year, why should they bother making one for this year.

Budget is a four letter word to them.

IUnknown on April 8, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Come on boehner, why didn’t you bring up the fact that the senate hasn’t passed a budget yet….Cripe he sounded weak just now

cmsinaz on April 8, 2011 at 11:08 AM

People really should be asking why these negotiations are being done primarily by two staff people and not even by the principals. Harry Reid’s chief aide is a millionaire former telecom lobbyist. WaPo has the story today. By not passing its own budget and triggereing a conference committee, Reid has ensured that all of the negotiations can be done by staff behind closed doors, instead of by actual members of Congress in public. This is very typical of how he has led the Senate for the last 5 years.

rockmom on April 8, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Democrats & DNC

D = Do
N = Not
C = Care

Apparently they do not know what a budget is…

But they do now how to say “extremist”.

First graders.

Ed – the fact that the Democrats did nothing at all to curb spending, the fact that Democrats did not produce a budget at all last year despite controlling majorities in both the Senate & House, the fact that Obama ignored the recommendations of the National Commission of Fiscal Responsibility he himself appointed, should be A DAILY STORY on this web site, and should be pounded DAILY in the news and DAILY in commercials on TV & radio… the same should be said by every single “establishment” Republican & every elected & fiscally conservative congressperson – not just Rand Paul & Paul Ryan.

When this is only mentioned in passing during an occasional post such as you do above:

Since voting down HR1 and the Democratic plan, the Senate hasn’t done anything — which means it has gone more than 18 months without approving a budget of some kind.

allows people like Obama, Reid, Schumer, Pelosi, and Wassupinmyschmutz create a revisionist history of the facts.

Why the fear?

Keep driving the stake home – Democratic leadership chooses to DO NOT CARE about how much taxpayer money they spend, because apparently their fiscal policy is, “Money does grow on trees!” Their budget is, “Budget? We don’t need no stinking budget.”


Its time that this site starts to do it in a coordinated fashion getting someone in Congress, and the mainstream media, to acknowledge this fact
and create new stories with their acknowledgement of this.

The Democratic leadership & DNC DO NOT CARE about the average American taxpayer, except to call us “extremist” when we disagree with how they are driving this country’s economic future into a ditch.

Stop this passive aggressive & weak kneed crap.

If fiscal conservative politicians had a bit more passion, and they along with conservative news sites and were continually shining a light on this, there would have never been a reason for a “Tea Party” to exist.

Show some testicles & become confrontational. To those in the media this type of political behavior we are seeing is simply “politics”, to the rest of us, it is a disgusting disrespect. Time to put away civility and respect for these politicians.

The ONLY reason Trump has any “popularity” right now, regardless of some of his views, is that he isn’t afraid to confront these people and put them on the defensive.

Leave the passive aggressiveness “occasionally I’ll make the obvious point” act inside the home in Minnesota.

Democratic leadership & establishment Republicans DO NOT CARE.


Danny on April 8, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Hutchison says she has 57 votes for paying military in event of a shutdown

txmomof6 on April 8, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Harry Reid is not unAmerican, he joins Dear Liar as anti-American.

rbj on April 8, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Please take a moment to give Nevada it’s due condemnation for voting this POS back into office.

rcl on April 8, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Where’s the Senate’s budget?

To quote Charlie Rangel,
“We didn’t get to it — we didn’t do it. It was a political hot potato — but that has nothing do with where we are today,”

mrt721 on April 8, 2011 at 12:24 PM

It’s because they know a large majority of Americans are politically lazy and will believe whatever the nightly news anchor tells them to believe.

ButterflyDragon on April 8, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Please take a moment to give Nevada it’s due condemnation for voting this POS back into office.

rcl on April 8, 2011 at 12:02 PM

My thoughts, too.

davidk on April 8, 2011 at 1:30 PM