Murray: Senate Democrats Will Not Do a Budget This Year

The already small number of things Congress plans to do this year just got smaller.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 12: U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) speaks while flanked by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) during a news conference on Capitol Hill, on December 12, 2013 in Washington, DC. Senate Democrats talked about a proposed budget deal and Republicans efforts to block U.S. President Barack Obama's Circuit court nominees
National Journal
Sarah Mimms
Feb. 28, 2014, 10 a.m.

Just a day after Speak­er John Boehner prom­ised that House Re­pub­lic­ans will pro­duce a budget this year, Sen­ate budget writer Patty Mur­ray an­nounced that her com­mit­tee won’t be join­ing them.

“Fisc­al Year 2015 is settled, the Ap­pro­pri­ations Com­mit­tees are already work­ing with their bi­par­tis­an spend­ing levels, and now we should work to­geth­er to build on our two-year bi­par­tis­an budget, not cre­ate more un­cer­tainty for fam­il­ies and busi­nesses by im­me­di­ately rel­it­ig­at­ing it,” Mur­ray said in a state­ment provided to Na­tion­al Journ­al.

Es­sen­tially, the Sen­ate Budget Com­mit­tee chair­wo­man is ar­guing that there is no need to do a budget for fisc­al 2015 be­cause Con­gress already has one. The budget agree­ment that Mur­ray con­cocted with Rep. Paul Ry­an, R-Wis., and passed both cham­bers in Decem­ber, already set the topline spend­ing level for fisc­al 2015 at $1.014 tril­lion. That’s all ap­pro­pri­at­ors need to pass their spend­ing bills for fund­ing the gov­ern­ment through Oc­to­ber of next year.

Mur­ray did say, however, that she will work with the Sen­ate Budget Com­mit­tee to “lay out our long-term vis­ion for cre­at­ing jobs, boost­ing the eco­nomy, and tack­ling our de­fi­cits fairly and re­spons­ibly.” Those pro­pos­als will al­low Demo­crats to lay out their ideal fin­an­cial vis­ion for the coun­try in an elec­tion year that they plan to struc­ture around in­come in­equal­ity, without hav­ing to make any of the tough choices that go in­to a bi­par­tis­an budget agree­ment that ac­tu­ally would stand a chance of passing in both cham­bers.

Those con­cerns are shared by some House Re­pub­lic­ans, who are en­cour­aging Ry­an not to pro­duce a budget either, lest his 2015 pro­pos­als de­tract from their elec­tion-year ar­gu­ments on the Af­ford­able Care Act and job cre­ation.

Sen­ate Demo­crats also warn that the dif­fer­ence in topline fig­ures between the cur­rent fisc­al year and the next is a mere $2 bil­lion (noth­ing in the con­text of a massive fed­er­al spend­ing bill), leav­ing Ry­an little room to make sweep­ing changes to fed­er­al spend­ing. Ry­an would have to break open his agree­ment with Mur­ray in or­der to make a real im­pact, some ar­gue.

“They just want to re­open the FY15 budget so they can hi­jack the pro­cess to play polit­ics and use a vote-a-rama for par­tis­an and cam­paign-re­lated show-votes. If Re­pub­lic­ans truly want to work with Demo­crats to build on the two-year bi­par­tis­an budget, that can hap­pen without re­do­ing a form­al pro­cess for a budget that is already done,” a Sen­ate Demo­crat­ic aide said.

But the House ma­jor­ity is in a slightly dif­fer­ent po­s­i­tion than their col­leagues in the oth­er cham­ber. Sen­ate Demo­crats don’t have a “No Budget, No Pay” prom­ise to con­tend with. Some mem­bers worry that the deal could make House Re­pub­lic­ans look hy­po­crit­ic­al if they don’t pro­duce a sep­ar­ate fisc­al 2015 budget, des­pite the Ry­an-Mur­ray agree­ment.

What We're Following See More »
‘PULLING A TRUMP’
GOP Budget Chiefs Won’t Invite Administration to Testify
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

The administration will release its 2017 budget blueprint tomorrow, but the House and Senate budget committees won’t be inviting anyone from the White House to come talk about it. “The chairmen of the House and Senate Budget committees released a joint statement saying it simply wasn’t worth their time” to hear from OMB Director Shaun Donovan. Accusing the members of pulling a “Donald Trump,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the move “raises some questions about how confident they are about the kinds of arguments that they could make.”

Source:
A DARK CLOUD OVER TRUMP?
Snowstorm Could Impact Primary Turnout
1 days ago
THE LATEST

A snowstorm is supposed to hit New Hampshire today and “linger into Primary Tuesday.” GOP consultant Ron Kaufman said lower turnout should help candidates who have spent a lot of time in the state tending to retail politicking. Donald Trump “has acknowledged that he needs to step up his ground-game, and a heavy snowfall could depress his figures relative to more organized candidates.”

Source:
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
A Shake-Up in the Offing in the Clinton Camp?
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

Anticipating a primary loss in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Hillary and Bill Clinton “are considering staffing and strategy changes” to their campaign. Sources tell Politico that the Clintons are likely to layer over top officials with experienced talent, rather than fire their staff en masse.

Source:
THE LAST ROUND OF NEW HAMPSHIRE POLLS
Trump Is Still Ahead, but Who’s in Second?
14 hours ago
THE LATEST

We may not be talking about New Hampshire primary polls for another three-and-a-half years, so here goes:

  • American Research Group’s tracking poll has Donald Trump in the lead with 30% support, followed by Marco Rubio and John Kasich tying for second place at 16%. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 53%-41%.
  • The 7 News/UMass Lowell tracking poll has Trump way out front with 34%, followed by Rubio and Ted Cruz with 13% apiece. Among the Democrats, Sanders is in front 56%-40%.
  • A Gravis poll puts Trump ahead with 28%, followed by Kasich with 17% and Rubio with 15%.
IT’S ALL ABOUT SECOND PLACE
CNN Calls the Primary for Sanders and Trump
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

Well that didn’t take long. CNN has already declared Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump the winners of the New Hampshire primary, leaving the rest of the candidates to fight for the scraps. Five minutes later, the Associated Press echoed CNN’s call.

Source:
×