The Corner

‘An Embarrassing Replay’

Politico reports today that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is so intent on having Democrats avoid stating their fiscal plans and principles that he asked the Senate parliamentarian (whom he appointed) to rule that last year’s Budget Control Act prohibits the Senate from taking up a budget resolution this year. The parliamentarian, to her credit, refused to do so, since the BCA says no such thing. Since Senate Democrats have not actually produced a budget of their own, they may now be forced to vote on budget proposals from various Republican senators (Rand Paul and Pat Toomey have both proposed budgets so far), to vote on the Ryan budget passed by the House last month, and — most difficult of all for the Democrats — to vote on the Obama budget. As Politico puts it:

a version of President Barack Obama’s own $3.6 trillion budget proposal, which the House unanimously rejected last week, also could come to the Senate floor, ensuring an embarrassing replay of last year when not a single senator voted for the president’s budget.

It must be so hard to be a Democratic senator — forced to vote on your own priorities and to tell the country what you want to do. And as Politico suggests, we can probably expect yet again to see every Democratic Senator, like every Democratic House member, voting against the budget proposed by our Democratic president. Embarrassing is right.

Yuval Levin is the editor of National Affairs and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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