Senate Republicans want to pass Obama's 2017 budget, not Trump's
Donald Trump has asked Republicans who control Congress to delay action on a 2017 budget until he gets into office. House Speaker Paul Ryan has apparently agreed, but Senate Republicans have other ideas.
Speaker Paul D. Ryan said on Thursday that the House would go along with the incoming administration's request and pass a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government running at current spending levels until March.
But Republican leaders in the Senate did not immediately sign on to the plan, reflecting their desire to get contentious spending battles out of the way this year.
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, left open the possibility of an agreement with the House [but won't commit to it now].
But signaling that the longstanding tensions between the House and Senate may not abate under a more unified Republican government, some Senate Republicans expressed concern that waiting until early next year could distract them from other legislative priorities.
"My opinion is that it would be better to get this year done now," said Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri and a member of the Appropriations Committee. "My preference is to do it now and not get bogged down early next year."
Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, another Republican on the Appropriations Committee, [said,] "I would think the last thing the Trump administration would want to do is spend time cleaning up an appropriations bill that was supposed to have been passed in the previous year under Obama," he said.
The way the budget process has worked for the last eight years is that Obama told Congress exactly how much money he wanted, and Congress, afraid of Obama shutting down the government and blaming them, gave Obama 100%. This is the process that Blunt, Alexander, and perhaps even McConnell still want to continue, even with Trump's election as president. If they do this again, this will needlessly lock Obama's budget into Trump's first year as president.
As Mark Levin is so fond of saying, we have to get rid of Mitch McConnell the next time he is up for re-election.
Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.