It's about time: Senate will deliver a budget
It only took them 4 years to obey the law that requires the Senate to submit a budget. Considering that there are some laws they never bother to follow, I suppose we should see this as progress.
But Senator Schumer is making it clear that there will be tax increases in the Senate Democrat's budget which means it will be DOA when it arrives in the House.
Democrats are looking to make new revenue part of the Senate's first budget in almost four years, which will be released soon after the start of President Barack Obama's second term.
Obama has pushed for a "balanced approach" to solving the nation's financial woes, including more tax revenue.
Republicans for years have complained bitterly that Senate Democrats last produced a comprehensive budget in 2009 and say that, if Obama and fellow Democrats want to borrow more money, they'll have to outline a spending plan.
Senate Democrats announced Sunday that they will oblige and produce a budget - but warned it will include higher taxes that Republicans oppose.
"We're going to do a budget this year," Schumer said hours before Obama officially began his second term. "And it's going to have revenues in it. And our Republican colleagues better get used to that fact."
The tough talk by Schumer, the number-three Democrat in the Senate, follows House Republicans' announcement last week that they would approve a short-term increase in the nation's borrowing limit without linking that to demands for spending cuts. Democrats called it a step in the right direction but also said the extension should be longer than the three months the GOP is offering.
White House senior adviser David Plouffe said the brief extension "is no way to run an economy or a railroad or anything else" and seemed cool on the proposal. Yet he said Obama would review Republicans' ideas once they're in the form of legislation.
If Obama was serious about a "balanced" approach to cutting the deficit, he wouldn't have insisted on $41 dollars in tax increases for every dollar of spending cuts in the fiscal cliff deal.
But since that happened 3 weeks ago, it is already down the memory hole and we're starting from scratch with the GOP once again refusing to act rationally in budget negotiations. Selective memory is a wonderful thing for Democrats and they will no doubt insist that increased revenue must be part of any deal.
House Republicans need to stand firm against this bait and switch tactic and pass their own budget - just as they've done the 3 years that Democrats defied the law.