Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the U.S. Senate will only fulfill it’s legal obligation to pass a budget if the budget, which has not been passed since 2009, includes new tax increases.
“We need a budget,” Schumer conceded on Meet the Press. “It’s a great opportunity to get us some more revenues to help in part deal with sequestration and deal with the debt issue . . . We’re going to do a budget this year and it’s going to have revenues in it and our Republican colleagues better get used to that fact.”
Senate Democrats have refused to pass a budget since Obamacare was passed, prompting Republicans to accuse their counterparts of hiding the amount of spending they desire to avoid electoral rebuke.
Even some Democrats are willing to say that. “I think there would be just too much risk for the next election,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., suggested last year when asked why his party leadership wouldn’t pass the budget. “They don’t want to risk the next election.”
The 112th Congress’s Senate Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., also admitted as much. “This is the wrong time to vote in committee; this is the wrong time to vote on the floor,” Conrad, D-N.D., said after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., made him scuttle his budget proposal. “I don’t think we will be prepared to vote before the election.”
The election is over — actually, both elections; the Senate began ducking its budgetary duties before the 2010 midterms — so now Democrats are willing to get a little honest about how much money they want to spend and how much more they want to pay taxes.
No wonder Harry Reid said that it would “foolish” to pass a budget before an election.