White House to release midsession budget review this week

posted at 4:05 pm on August 31, 2011 by Tina Korbe

By law, every year by the middle of the year, the administration has to provide an update of the president’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. This midsession review — technically due July 16, by the way — gives the president the chance to reexamine and revise his budget one last time before Congress finalizes appropriations.

Ordinarily, the release of the review is a ho-hum affair, confirming that the president stands by the budget he submitted in the spring or indicating slight changes to the president’s plan. But, this year, at least three important budget-related developments have occurred since February, when the president released his original (failed) budget (a 97-to-nothing defeat in the Senate!).

In the first place, the president released a different “budget framework” in April (i.e. he made a speech), in which he called for $4 trillion in deficit reduction. Secondly, Congress imposed spending caps as a part of the debt ceiling deal — caps that were not a part of the president’s original proposed budget. And finally, the president has repeatedly called for increased infrastructure spending.

The administration has obviously already missed the July 16 deadline, but the White House has said the midsession review will come out sometime this week (likely as near to Labor Day as possible, to ensure it slides under the radar). How will the president reconcile all of his mixed messages into one coherent vision for the federal budget? The release of the review will be an important indicator of whether the president’s April “budget framework” speech was sincere — or just empty rhetoric.

What to look for and what it will mean:

  • How many revisions does it contain? Few revisions will signal that the president stands by his original failed budget — a budget that blatantly increased the debt and deficit.
  • Does it put forward a plan that Congress can actually act on? If it reiterates the president’s call for $4 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years, but doesn’t specify a way to get there, it’s a repeat of the president’s game plan thus far, which has been, “Talk tough, but provide no real leadership.” Keep in mind that the Budget Control Act (i.e. the debt ceiling deal) provides for just $2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years (and that includes the still-ahead work of the Super Committee). If the president is serious about his $4 trillion figure, his review should reflect his ideas for an additional $2 trillion in deficit reduction.
  • Does it offset the increases in spending that the Democrat base has been clamoring for and that the president looks prepared to propose as a part of his jobs plan? The president can’t have it both ways — purporting to cut the deficit with his proposed budget while simultaneously proposing to increase spending to create jobs. His cuts will have to be even deeper than an additional $2 trillion if he wants to increase infrastructure spending, extend the payroll tax cut, etc.

Obviously, it’s wishful thinking to suggest the president might actually put forward a concrete plan for additional deficit reduction in this midyear review. It seems safe to say the president’s April budget speech was empty rhetoric, aimed to pacify cut-craving Republicans in advance of the debt ceiling debate. But it’s more important now than ever, as Congress enters the appropriations season, to remind GOP leadership that the president himself once called for $4 trillion in deficit reduction — twice as much as was achieved with the debt ceiling deal — because some rumblings suggest top Republicans are budget-weary and unwilling to fight for deeper cuts during the upcoming funding round.

And with the president pushing for increased spending, it’s important for deficit-conscious voters to remind the president, too, that we haven’t forgotten the less-than-satisfactory deficit-reduction deal and we won’t appreciate it if he turns around and immediately spends the slight gains we made. What was it all the leaders on Capitol Hill said the day after the deal passed? It was an important first step — but by no means the end of the push to reduce the deficit.

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1.4 Trillion deficit…there’s the update…

PatriotRider on August 31, 2011 at 4:07 PM

There’s a budget to review?

forest on August 31, 2011 at 4:09 PM

The two faces of Obama, his mug, and this one. Heh, heh, heh. Better than Gibsy ever could make fools of them…

Schadenfreude on August 31, 2011 at 4:10 PM

…..yawn…..

roy_batty on August 31, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Remind me… how many days since the Senate proposed a budget?

Red Cloud on August 31, 2011 at 4:11 PM

By law, every year by the middle of the year, the administration has to provide an update of the president’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year.

bwaahahaha…Tina, c’mon, you’re killing me with these jokes!!!

ted c on August 31, 2011 at 4:12 PM

“In Washington, no one can hear your spend.”

catmman on August 31, 2011 at 4:13 PM

This midsession review — technically due July 16, by the way

This guy isn’t on time for anything.

Except his vacations.

catmman on August 31, 2011 at 4:18 PM

By law, every year by the middle of the year, the administration has to provide an update of the president’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. This midsession review — technically due July 16, by the way

forest on August 31, 2011 at 4:18 PM

technically due July 16, by the way

so technically we have yet more evidence that this administration repeatedly fails to follow US law; War Powers — Libya, Obamacare declared unconstitutional yet Obama continues implementation, GM/Chrysler bail out ignoring established bankruptcy law to coerce bond holders into settlement, voter intimidation ignored…..immigration enforcement ignored by executive fiat, but look at how we are enforcing the endangered species act, and that Gibson guitar case.

We don’t have a rule of law, we live under a tyrant’s whim.

Skandia Recluse on August 31, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Friday at 5:00 pm.

Tzetzes on August 31, 2011 at 4:21 PM

“Budget” doesn’t mean what you think it means.

faraway on August 31, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Jeebus…. what a fool

roflmao

donabernathy on August 31, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Heh, Boehner exceeds expectations and good on him.

August 31, 2011

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Thank you for your letter requesting time to address a Joint Session of Congress next week. I agree that creating a better environment for job creation must be our most urgent priority. For months, the House has been implementing an agenda designed to reduce economic uncertainty, remove unnecessary government barriers to private-sector job creation, and help small businesses, and we welcome the opportunity to hear your latest proposals.

As your spokesperson today said, there are considerations about the Congressional calendar that must be made prior to scheduling such an extraordinary event. As you know, the House of Representatives and Senate are each required to adopt a Concurrent Resolution to allow for a Joint Session of Congress to receive the President. And as the Majority Leader announced more than a month ago, the House will not be in session until Wednesday, September 7, with votes at 6:30 that evening. With the significant amount of time – typically more than three hours – that is required to allow for a security sweep of the House Chamber before receiving a President, it is my recommendation that your address be held on the following evening, when we can ensure there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might detract from your remarks. As such, on behalf of the bipartisan leadership and membership of both the House and Senate, I respectfully invite you to address a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, September 8, 2011 in the House Chamber, at a time that works best for your schedule.

We look forward to hearing your ideas and working together to solve America’s jobs crisis.

Sincerely,

John Boehner

Schadenfreude on August 31, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Love it that Boehner didn’t even address the R debate. Good job on this one. The Oaf looks…well…oafish.

Schadenfreude on August 31, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Sincerely,

John Boehner

Schadenfreude on August 31, 2011 at 4:33 PM

heh, in other word, “we’re just not that into you…”

pound sand.

ted c on August 31, 2011 at 4:39 PM

As you know …
Schadenfreude on August 31, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Evidently, not.

gh on August 31, 2011 at 4:55 PM

forest on August 31, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Judas Priest!?! dang that brings back…reminds me of…man they were loud!

DanMan on August 31, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Since everything Barry says has an expiration date, I’m sure that everything he says is what he means. It’s that whole “vision” and “I believe in leading from behind” thing. So what he says will be subject to conjecture; as people will see / hear what they want when THE ONE speaks. So if what you heard is not what Barry meant, that’s you’re fault. Since, Barry, being an EXCELLENT, some might say HISTORIC communicator; the lack of communication must be the fault of the receiver.

We hope that answers everyone’s questions on the President’s plan and position during these trying economic times. Good night, and may Obama bless you.

GarandFan on August 31, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Schadenfreude on August 31, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Saints vs. Packers!

hillbillyjim on August 31, 2011 at 6:24 PM

forest on August 31, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Judas Priest!?! dang that brings back…reminds me of…man they were loud!

DanMan on August 31, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Maybe someone should play this for Sugar Daddy.

hillbillyjim on August 31, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Cheese and rice, another freakin’ speech from this buffoon?

All he does is talk. He’s been “pivoting” to make “jobs” his “#1 priority” ever since he took office – what is it, at least seven, eight times now? And every time it’s the same: empty promises, boring speeches droning on and on, no action, continued stagnation.

At least he recognized that no one is interested in his speeches anymore, so he requested a Joint Session for the speech. At least Congress will find it more palatable if they can pass fat doobies around during the blather.

Adjoran on August 31, 2011 at 7:41 PM

Did Mr. B really send the liar in chief that letter or is that a joke? Good for him if it’s real.

Kissmygrits on August 31, 2011 at 8:31 PM