Another day, another congressional shutout of O’s latest unserious gimmick. That makes three in the past year. The Senate torpedoed his last budget 97-0 in May 2011, then the House dropped a goose egg on him in March with a robust 414-0 tally. Now this.
Republicans forced the vote by offering the president’s plan on the Senate floor.
Democrats disputed that it was actually the president’s plan, arguing that the slim amendment didn’t actually match Mr. Obama’s budget document, which ran thousands of pages. But Republicans said they used all of the president’s numbers in the proposal, so it faithfully represented his plan.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, even challenged Democrats to point out any errors in the numbers and he would correct them — a challenge no Democrats took up…
The White House has held its proposal out as a “balanced approach” to beginning to rein in deficits. It calls for tax increases to begin to offset higher spending, and would begin to level off debt as a percentage of the economy by 2022. It would produce $6.4 trillion in new deficits over that time.
There’s no better testament to how politically toxic that $6.4 trillion figure is than the fact that Senate Democrats would rather hand the GOP yet another day of “Obama shutout!” headlines than sign on to this travesty out of party loyalty. Said Mitch McConnell of Reid’s refusal to offer his own budget, “They’re so unserious they won’t even vote for a budget that was written by a president of their own party. It doesn’t get more irresponsible than that.” Indeed — but follow that last link and you’ll find that it’s Jay Carney, of all people, who’s complaining about “gimmicks.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) attended the meeting. Mr. Carney said of the meeting: “The tone was genial, the discussion was productive, the sandwiches were delicious.”
Mr. Obama bought sandwiches from Taylor Gourmet in Washington, D.C., where he met with small-business owners ahead of his lunch with the congressional leaders. (The president ordered a 12-inch Spruce Street hoagie, which has roast turkey, prosciutto, roasted red peppers and sharp provolone, but it remains a mystery what he ordered for the congressional leaders. The total was $62.79. A spokesman for Mr. Boehner said the speaker “was very pleased with the sandwiches.”)…
Mr. Boehner asked the president whether he wanted to extend the nation’s debt ceiling, or borrowing limit, without spending cuts and the president said “yes,” according to a Boehner aide. The speaker told the president “as long as I’m around here, I’m not going to allow a debt-ceiling increase without doing something serious about the debt.”
So there’s the state of “seriousness” on May 16: The guy who proposed new spending so massive that not a single federal legislator from his own party will endorse it refuses to accept any further cuts as a condition to raising the debt ceiling. When asked why, presumably he’ll say we can’t afford cuts at a moment when the eurozone’s teetering and threatening to drag its American trading partner down with it. In that case, when? The eurozone’s likely to be teetering for a good long while unless it crashes in the near term. Over to you, Tom Coburn.
Via Breitbart.com, here’s Bernie Sanders transmitting from a magical dimension in which Democrats have passed some sort of budget within the past three years.
Update: Can’t find the rolls right now but the word on Twitter is that Democrats voted unanimously against Paul Ryan’s, Rand Paul’s, Mike Lee’s and Pat Toomey’s budget proposals too. On the most momentous domestic issue of our time — fiscal sustainability — they’ve checked out.