Is anyone noticing that we don't have a budget this year?
The Democratic controlled Congress has overlooked a small, but rather significant detail in their desire to remake America.
They forgot to present a budget this year.
Just a simple oversight, right? No doubt when they discover their lapse in memory, they'll get right on it and work extra hard to make up for lost time.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday his party will not approve a traditional budget that sets spending guidelines for the new fiscal year.
Instead, Hoyer, D-Md., used a speech before the think tank Third Way to announce plans for the House to unveil what he called a "budget enforcement resolution" in its place.
Hoyer says this blueprint will curb discretionary spending (money the government spends on programs except Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) beyond cuts called for in President Obama's budget and look for ways to trim wasteful spending.
Hoyer also argued the reason to punt on a regular budget was because Mr. Obama's fiscal commission that aims to slash the debt hasn't completed it's work yet.
"It isn't possible to debate an pass a realistic, long-term budget until we've considered the bipartisan commission's deficit-reduction plan," Hoyer said. "I believe that Congress must take up and vote on that plan."
Democratic leaders have wrestled with liberals and conservatives in their caucus to forge a budget agreement. But they've been unsuccessful cobbling together the votes for a consensus package.
The "budget enforcement resolution" relies on economic forecasts for the next five to ten years to determine how much the government should be spending.
"This budget enforcement resolution will enforce fiscal discipline in the near-term while the fiscal commission works on a long-term plan to get our country back to fiscal health," Hoyer said.
You buying this? The Democrats won't present a budget because they have to wait for the president's deficit commission to come up with a plan to reduce their monumentally out of control deficits? ("Please stop me! I can't help spending a trillion dollars on another stim bill!")
The idea that the Democrats will take anything, any deficit commission recommends to heart is balmy. They will cut defense, no doubt, and find a way to raise taxes (on the "rich" of course). But as far as deep cuts in entitlements - faggetaboutit. Not going to happen. You would think that a party that needs to go to the American people in November and ask them to keep them in power would take a little initiative and come up with a budget that enacts some real cost savings.
Dream on. They would rather take the unprecedented step of failing to present a budget resolution than face their own music:
Skipping a budget resolution this year, a move House Democrats are considering, would be unprecedented.
The House has never failed to pass an annual budget resolution since the current budget rules were put into place in 1974, according to a Congressional Research Service report. The budget resolution is a non-binding document whose main purposes are to set discretionary spending caps for the coming fiscal year, lay out the framework of the majority's fiscal policy and create the option of easing legislation through the Senate via fast-track reconciliation procedures.
No doubt Nancy Pelosi has always wanted to go down in history for something. Somehow, I don't think the Democrat's failure to come up with a budget was what she had in mind.