When Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) appeared this morning on Fox News to say he was feeling a bit “more positive” about the possibility of a debt ceiling agreement, he also said something revealing about the Senate’s failure to produce a budget in 823 days. From the Twitter feed of the GOP side of the Senate Budget Committee:
BudgetGOP Senate Budget GOP
Sen. Durbin said on FNS this morning that Dems haven’t passed a budget bc of 60-vote threshold. Odd he doesn’t know you only need 51.
As I’ve watched the Sunday shows, as I’ve listened to this senator or that senator express cautious optimism about a deal, as I’ve heard news that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has supposedly signed off on an agreement “pending caucus approval,” I’ve found myself increasingly disgusted. Had the Senate done its duty months ago, had it produced a budget resolution as it is required to do by the Congressional Budget Act, Congress need not have been so frantically at work on both the Saturday and Sunday before the rapidly impending Aug. 2 deadline — because Senate budget priorities would have been clearly articulated in its budget resolution and the House would have had a more concrete starting point for its plans to raise the debt ceiling.
Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) today tweeted an apology to his son for missing his birthday — and I feel for him. But, at the same time, where were Durbin and Begich and every other Democrat senator for the past 823 days? Why did no Democrat ever put pressure on Reid or Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-Colo.) to actually produce a budget? (If I missed a Democrat’s case for a budget, please present it!) To hear Durbin’s weak and evidently ignorant excuse only compounds the exasperation.
As Allahpundit posted last night (but as is also worth revisiting), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) took to the Senate floor last night to highlight the utter hypocrisy these senators have shown and it was a relief to me to hear someone speak common sense:
“You talk about delay tactics? They have delayed for two years,” Rubio said.
Exactly. Democrats and Republicans will bear joint responsibility for whatever compromise they craft, but we’re down to the wire because of Democrats, who waited far too long to make their demands known in the first place and, even still, seem unable to say just what they want and why (other than, of course, the debt ceiling increase itself and, preferably, an increase of a duration that enables them to duck this issue in the future).
Update: Here, for your enjoyment, is video of Durbin’s d’oh comment: