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GOP seeks to spotlight an inauspicious Democratic milestone

January 24, 2012|By Lisa Mascaro
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid leaves a news conference on Capitol Hill on Dec. 23, 2011.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid leaves a news conference on Capitol Hill… (Michael Reynolds / EPA )

Tuesday offers a unique milestone that congressional Republicans vow to highlight Day 1,000 without a Democratic budget.

The GOP-led House plans to spend a good chunk of the day reminding voters of this moment as Republicans begin to prepare their own fiscal 2013 spending plan, which is expected to resurrect several hot-button GOP priorities.

Democrats, who control the Senate, last approved a budget in 2009; Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, said last year that it would be "foolish" to approve a new budget as Congress was engaged in broad deficit-reduction talks. Those negotiations ultimately broke down, but lack of a budget vote enabled Democrats to escape going on record on tough budget issues.

"Senate Democrats abandoned their official duty to prioritize Americans' hard-earned tax dollars and tackle our nation’s most pressing economic challenges," wrote Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the Budget Committee chairman, and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, in the National Review.

The GOP budget chiefs called Tuesday "a sad milestone in the history of the United States Senate."

President Obama's budget for 2013 will be presented Feb. 13, an administration official said -– a week overdue as the White House finalizes details of the package.

The House on Tuesday is expected to consider a resolution expressing the sense of the chamber that passage of the 2013 budget is of "national importance."

The congressional budget serves as a blueprint for the fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, and provides direction for spending limits and policy priorities.

lmascaro@tribune.com

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