Stop the presses! Senator Charles Schumer said on “Meet the Press” that the Democratic Senate will pass a budget this year — a feat they have failed to accomplish for three years despite them being statutorily obligated to do so.
The Senate’s third-ranking Democrat said Sunday that the upper chamber will pass a budget this year, something House Republican leaders have insisted as they’ve agreed to hold a vote on a short-term increase in the nation’s borrowing limit.
“In our budget that we will pass, we will have tax reform, which many of my Republican colleagues like. But it’s going to include revenues,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on NBC News’s “Meet The Press.”
House Republicans last week proposed a vote on raising the debt ceiling for three months to give both chambers time to pass a budget for the next fiscal year. Under the proposal, if either chamber fails to adopt a budget by April 15, then that chamber’s members would then have their paychecks withheld.
Schumer’s remark that the budget will include revenue is notable, as is White House senior adviser David Plouffe’s comment on ABC News’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” that President Obama would not accept a budget without more revenue. Republicans have said the debate over taxes was completed in the recent deal to avert the “fiscal cliff.” Thus, a battle over whether or not to include new revenues in a budget appears to be in the offing.
If the House gets its way and allows sequestration to go through, it will actually strengthen the Democrat’s argument for more revenue. There is a lot of concern that these meat cleaver cuts will damage our defense and fail to fully fund several important agencies and departments, including the National Weather Service, disaster relief agencies, and procurement, operations and maintenance at DoD. One study showed up to a million jobs lost — most of them in red states.
Raising tax rates will almost certainly be off the table, but closing loopholes in the tax code to generate some revenue may be a part of negotiations. Once the pink slips go out and it becomes evident what the cuts are doing to important parts of government — and red state governors start screaming about the lost jobs — the House GOP may be more amenable to talking about increasing revenue.