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.
- 1 Live from New York, It’s Joe Piscopo’s Pseudo-Campaign for N.J. Governor
- 2 From the Editor
- 3 African-Americans With College Degrees Are Twice As Likely to Be Unemployed as Other Graduates
- 4 How the Government Pays Defense Contractors Tens of Billions for Nothing
- 5 GOP Proposal Could Undermine Obamacare’s Weakest Exchanges
What We're Following See More »
"An emerging government funding deal would see Democrats agree to $15 billion in additional military funding in exchange for the GOP agreeing to fund healthcare subsidies, according to two congressional officials briefed on the talks. Facing a Friday deadline to pass a spending bill and avert a shutdown, Democrats are willing to go halfway to President Trump’s initial request of $30 billion in supplemental military funding."
The Michael Flynn story is not going away for the White House as it tries to refocus its attention. The White House has denied requests from the House Oversight Committee for information and documents regarding payments that the former national security adviser received from Russian state television station RT and Russian firms. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking member Elijah Cummings also said that Flynn failed to report these payments on his security clearance application. White House legislative director Marc Short argued that the documents requested are either not in the possession of the White House or contain sensitive information he believes is not applicable to the committee's stated investigation.
The Washington, D.C. area will undergo "a full-scale exercise" Wednesday morning "designed to prepare for the possibility of a complex coordinated terror attack in the National Capital Region." The drill will take place at six different sites throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. The drill should not be taken as a sign that emergency services are expecting an attack, said Scott Boggs, Managing Director of Homeland Security and Public Safety at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee "acknowledged late Monday that a final report it filed with the Federal Election Commission this month was riddled with errors, many of which were first identified through a crowdsourced data project at HuffPost." The committee raised about $100 million for the festivities, but the 500-page FEC report, which detailed where that money came from, was riddled with problems. The likely culprit: a system of access codes sent out by the GOP's ticketing system. Those codes were then often passed around on the secondary market.