It’s helpful to mark these milestones every year. While President Obama lectures his opposition about unprecedented obstruction and lack of governance, he continues to miss the most basic of statutory requirements of governance every year.
Like the budget. Delivered late by Obama five of six years despite the fact that law requires him to produce it by the first Monday in February. As Guy Benson notes, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. combined for a total of four late budgets in 20 years of governing.
Obama just hit number five. He’s missed more budget deadlines than any president since the current law was passed in the early 1920’s. Chalk up another “unprecedented” achievement for Team O. High fives all around. The CQ story goes on to speculate that Senate Democrats will once again shirk their budget duties this year for the explicit purpose of evading tough pre-election votes.
The Obama budget’s tardiness keeps appropriators from meeting and basically results in any kind of normal order falling apart, again. And, that’s just the way Sen. Harry Reid likes it, having used the Budget Control Act as an excuse to avoid his legally required governing responsibilities for three years because putting the Democratic Senators’ spending priorities down on paper for voters to see would be inconvenient for him. Because voters might not like them. If the Ryan-Murray deal had not been struck, one imagines Reid would have run down and grabbed a guy who just negotiated a Prius lease and stood behind that deal to avoid budgeting. Surely, this hard-fought Prius topline number is sufficient to run the American government and a triumph of bipartisanship!
The expectation is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., will keep a Senate budget deal off the floor, arguing the Ryan-Murray pact makes it unnecessary. Senate debate on a budget resolution could open the door to numerous amendments that the chamber’s Republicans can use to force highly partisan votes just months before the elections.
But really, what is the reason for being late on this? It’s a bunch of made-up numbers anyway. Take last year’s made-up numbers, massage them into new made-up numbers, dream taxes, and super-fun plans for driving us to fiscal doom, and be done with it. Eh, he’s been busy for 17 days.