Morning Examiner: Democrats have no budget

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

Senate Democrats have failed to pass a budget for over 1,000 days. Since that time our national debt has risen by over $4 trillion. But while President Obama and Senate Democrats are happy to attack House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and his plan, they still insist that they do not have to pass a budget of their own. Democrats have floated multiple excuses for this failure, and every one of them has been shot down.

Back in February on NBC’s Meet the Press, White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew tried to blame Democrats’ budgeting failure on the filibuster, claiming that 60 votes were needed to pass a budget resolution. NBC’s David Gregory let this lie go by unchallenged, but, ABC News, and The Washington Post all posted stories refuting the White House: only 51 votes are needed to pass a Senate budget resolution.

Since then, Democrats have been claiming that they did in fact pass a budget when they agreed to the August debt limit deal. “We do not need to bring a budget to the floor this year — it’s done, we don’t need to do it,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said. But earlier this week, that excuse also crumbled. The Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, who was appointed by Reid, ruled Tuesday that the August budget deal does not qualify as a budget pursuant to Senate rules.

As a result, since the Senate Budget Committee failed to produce a budget by the April 1st deadline, any Senator can now place a budget on the Senate calendar. This is a nightmare scenario for the Democrats. Obama’s budget was already defeated by a unanimous 414-0 bipartisan majority in the House. The White House does not want to suffer a similar humiliating defeat in the Senate.

Reid will use his power as Majority Leader to block any debate on a budget, but Republicans will only need to get 51 votes to get the conversation started. Vulnerable Democrats facing voters this fall will be forced to either vote against Obama’s budget, or vote against budgeting at all.

Around the Bigs
The Wall Street Journal, Democrats Target GOP Senators Over ‘Buffett Rule’: Democrats plan to target Republican senators in 13 states next week, in an effort to pressure them to vote for the “Buffett Rule.” The Republican senators represent Tennessee, Missouri, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Maine, Nevada, Nebraska, Alaska, Ohio, Florida, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Iowa.

Reuters, White House in damage control over Obama Supreme Court remarks: The White House was forced on the defensive on Wednesday as it sought to explain controversial remarks President Barack Obama made earlier in the week about the Supreme Court’s review of his signature health care reform law.

The New York Times, Low Growth in Earnings Is Expected: Analysts predict that when the first-quarter reporting season starts next week, American companies will show the slowest rate of growth in operating earnings in three years.

The Los Angeles Times, Democrats give special interests a role at convention: Democrats have found ways to skirt their own rules and give corporations and lobbyists a presence at their nominating convention in Charlotte in September.

Reuters, NBC probe centers on staffer in shooting story error: An internal NBC News probe has determined a “seasoned” producer was to blame for a misleading clip of a 911 call that the network broadcast during its coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting, according to two sources at the network. The edit made it appear that Zimmerman immediately told police that Martin was black, when, in fact, the full tape reveals that the neighborhood watch captain only did so when responding to a question posed by a dispatcher.

Righty Playbook
At The Corner, Ramesh Ponnuru reports that Romney adviser Ed Gillespie never lobbied for an individual mandate.

RedState‘s Erick Erickson reviews Katie Pavlich’s new book Fast And Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Cover-Up.

The Weekly Standard‘s Daniel Harper posts video of Obama praising the work culture of the GSA in 2010.

Lefty Playbook
Wisconsin public sector unions who have endorsed former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk are sending around a YouTube clip of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett saying that Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining reforms should become law. Barrett and Falk are competing in the Democratic primary to recall Walker.

The New Republic‘s Jonathan Cohn says Obama’s Tuesday attack on Ryan budget shows Obama has given up on bipartisanship.

Chris Mooney defends his claim that conservatives don’t believe in science.

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