Budgeting and a Do-Nothing Senate

As a number of us, including Power Line, have been mentioning lately, the Senate-of-No has not adopted a budget in three years.

In the latest sham, we get Senator Kent Conrad (D, ND) feinting to his right with an offer to present a budget proposal and to discuss amendments before the Senate Budget Committee, which he chairs.

[The] standard markup process begins with the committee chairman laying out a proposal, with the chairman and the ranking minority member giving opening statements.  This is followed by an amendment process, in which amendments to the proposed legislation (here, the budget resolution) are offered and voted on.  The markup process concludes with a committee vote on the bill or resolution as amended. In this case, Conrad assured ranking Republican, Jeff Sessions, that amendments would be allowed.

Then Conrad held a presser at which he announced that he’d present his budget proposal, all right, but there would be no amendments allowed, and there would be no subsequent Committee vote on his proposal.

Senator Sessions (R, AL) responded to this shadow box theater noting that this is another demonstration of a

lack of will, courage, or the ability of Democrats to unify behind a plan.

and that they

don’t want to be held accountable for anything.

President Obama also has weighed in in support of his party’s Senate doing nothing.  Through his Acting Budget Director, Jeffrey Zients, Obama threatened House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R, KY):

Until the House of Representatives indicates that it will abide by last summer’s agreement, the President will not be able to sign any appropriations bills.

Never mind that last summer’s spending agreement was to an upper limit of $1.047 trillion, not a lower limit of that amount.  Obama is simply acting, as Sessions noted, on any excuse he can dream up to not be constrained by a budget.  Again.

Never mind, moreover, that Conrad’s budget [is expected to have] no spending cuts at all from Obama’s present exploded baseline, and that it increases taxes by $2.6 trillion, $700 billion more than even Obama’s budget—which has gotten him zero votes, including zero Democratic Party votes—in two tries over two years.  Indeed, with Conrad’s budget, the national debt increases by $7 trillion.

Never mind that in all of 2011, the Senate Progressives voted down three different budgets, but they didn’t offer anything of their own.  Again.

Is this the level of integrity we want in our Senators?

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