Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad: We've had a budget in place for this year and next

This is curious because, before Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he had no intention of bringing a budget to the floor this year, Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad signaled that he did intend to produce a budget. Now, he says Democrats have had a budget in place for this year and next — but he also says he still plans to bring forth a different, 10-year fiscal plan. If the Senate has a budget in place, why make his committee go to the trouble to produce another, purely extraneous plan? Could it be that he and his Democratic colleagues are the folks who suffer from “convenient amnesia“?

Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) accused his Republican colleagues of having “convenient amnesia” when claiming that the Senate has not passed budget in over 1,000 days.

“Our friends have convenient amnesia. It’s good talking points, but the fact is we have a budget in place for this year and next. We have ten years of spending caps and a special committee was given the opportunity to deal with entitlements and revenue without the threat of filibuster,” said Conrad on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday. …

Conrad argued Monday though that the Budget Control Act, which was passed last August, is in “many ways stronger” than a budget resolution.

“I’m most disturbed when my colleagues slip into the political in order to mislead people that there’s no plan in place, that nothing has been done to limit spending, because it’s just not true,” Conrad said.

We’ve been over this before. The Budget Control Act is not a budget. Yes, it created 10 years of spending caps, but those apply solely to discretionary spending — and the main culprit for our out-of-control debt is mandatory spending (entitlements!). But, but — the BCA created the Super Committee, which did have a chance to tackle entitlements, you say? Well, did it? Did the Super Committee tackle entitlements? No. In what world is the creation of a committee the same as the construction of a sound money-management plan? Only in Congress.

A budget would at least force Congress to either (a) create an actual plan for entitlement reform or (b) admit they don’t have a plan for entitlement reform and want to leave Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid alone to go belly-up at the appointed time. Whatever Conrad says, his actions speak louder. That he still sees a need to craft a long-term fiscal plan tells us all we need to know: The Senate hasn’t passed a budget (a.k.a. “a long-term fiscal plan”) — and Conrad knows it.

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David Strom 8:31 AM on October 02, 2022