Budget Background

“…Democrats still run the Senate... When it comes to their core responsibility under the law of passing a budget resolution, they are A.W.O.L.” Wall Street Journal (Cool Hand Harry)

“While Mr. Obama has tried to set parameters for budget negotiations, his party has yet to settle on a plan for Medicare or the broader budget issues. And failure to address the nation’s fiscal problems aggressively could carry its own risk for Democrats...” New York Times (Democrats Put G.O.P. On Spot As Medicare Plan Fails)

“I'm afraid that the Democrats will draw the conclusion … that we shouldn't do anything. And I completely disagree with that. … We’ve got to deal with these things.”—Bill Clinton, New York Times (Running Medicare The Right Way)

“But there had been another pressure play under way this week orchestrated by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the ranking minority member on the Senate Budget Committee, who has been (justifiably so) harping on the Senate’s failure to pass a budget. On Monday, he rounded up all 46 of his Republican colleagues to sign a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). They excoriated Reid for failing (for 754 days at that point) to pass a budget.” Washington Post (GOP lawmakers deny Obama his recess appointments)

“In recent days Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, has been asking, pushing, pleading, cajoling and begging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to put forward a Democratic plan. So far, Reid has steadfastly refused.” Washington Examiner (The Dems' 'Breathtaking' Refusal to Pass a Budget)

“‘It appears that the leaders of the Senate would prefer to hide in the hills and take shots at Republicans from the distance? Is that what they prefer?’ Sessions asked, accusing Reid of ‘wasting the American people's time’ with the Ryan vote and called the Obama budget ‘a stunning failure.’” Washington Examiner (Senate to Vote on Ryan Budget with Dems Smelling Political Victory)

“But there's another unresolved question after yesterday's votes: Where do Democrats, with their party in control of the White House and Senate, stand on the budget. They were unable to produce one last year, when they held both chambers of Congress and it's not clear that any of their divisions over spending and taxing have been bridged. The Senate's answer to not having a budget: Vote no on every other plan.” Politico  (GOP Unveils Jobs Agenda, Coburn Aims At NSF Study On Dating-Site Racism, Offsets, Offsets, Offsets, Trivia)

“Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the Budget Committee, has lambasted Senate Democrats for not having the political courage to offer up their own budget resolution or a long-term plan to preserve Medicare... ‘The reason we have not seen a budget from Chairman Conrad and the Democrat Senate is because they know that they can’t put forward a plan that wins the support both of their caucus and of the American people,’ he said Wednesday.” CQ (Senate GOP Stands Behind Budget)

“‘If you object to the House GOP plan, or to other Republican plans, then you must come forward with your own honest plan to prevent financial catastrophe and create a more prosperous future,’ Sessions said on the Senate floor. He said leadership’s planned series of votes on a variety of budget resolutions is designed as a ‘gimmick to distract attention from the Senate’s failure to produce an honest plan.’” The Hill (Sessions threatens to block budget votes, Memorial Day recess)

“Democrats chose not to produce their own budget while bipartisan negotiations led by Vice President Joseph Biden continue and instead pivoted to a show-vote strategy… As dramatic as the vote on Ryan’s budget was, the next vote was even more jarring: 97 Senators voted against President Barack Obama’s budget proposal, with none voting in favor.” Roll Call (Senate Spurns Ryan Budget)

“…Senate Democrats have almost no legislative agenda of their own...” National Journal (No, No, No, No—Senate On Record Now)

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) is up to his usual tricks, opting not to fully adjourn the Senate for what would have been a week-long recess for the Memorial Day holiday. Instead, the Senate will have to convene for three short ‘pro forma’ sessions over the next ten days.” National Review (Harry Reid’s ‘Pro Forma’ Leadership)

“One Republican—Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama—is being particularly vocal on the Senate’s failure to seriously engage in a budget debate. On Monday, Sessions spoke on the Senate floor and objected to the Reid’s scheduled budget votes, calling them ‘cynical political games,’ and in doing so, rejected the request for unanimous consent.” Daily Caller (Senate Democrats, Republicans Stall on Producing Budget)

“They'll say that yet another bipartisan commission -- led by Vice President Biden -- must be allowed to do its work, so they have no problem voting down a proposal that the president himself has all but abandoned.  This will be their professed cover for voting no.  The problem with this move, however, is that President Obama's 2012 budget is literally the only Democrat-generated plan on the table.” Town Hall (Showdown: Senate Democrats Plot Budget Stunt Tonight)

“Despite a stern letter from every Senate Republican, Senate Democrats ‘leaders’ have made a political decision—DO NOTHING and attack Paul Ryan’s budget.  But ‘doing nothing’ is hardly new to this Senate.  According to Byron York at the Washington Times, (and Senator Jeff Sessions),  ‘The last time the Senate passed a budget was April 29, 2009, which was, if you are counting—and Jeff Sessions is—755 days ago.’” Hot Air (Senator Harry Reid: “There’s no need to have a Democratic budget, in my opinion)

“Before the vote, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) said it makes no sense for Democrats to go to a budget mark-up because President Barack Obama, Vice President Biden and leaders of both parties are right now in the midst of budget negotiations—but that doesn’t explain why Democrats didn’t pass a budget in 2010. No wonder Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, grows increasingly frustrated with his Democratic colleagues on the committee and in the Senate.” Hot Air (Pure political posturing: Senate votes down House budget)