For the fourth time in five years President Barack Obama will be late in delivering a budget to Capitol Hill. Due by law on February 4, the 2014 federal budget is now scheduled to be delivered to Congress on April 8.
What is it with this president? Does he have enough people at OMB to get the job done? Are his cabinet secretaries tardy in delivering their numbers? Or, like some college kid who doesn’t want to start that project until the last minute and then pull an all-nighter to get it done, is our president a monumental procrastinator?
But Earnest also pointed the finger at Congress when explaining the lengthy delay in producing a budget document.
“The budget has been delayed because some of the impediments that have been thrown in the path of those working on it,” Earnest said, citing the sequester and the “fiscal cliff” as complicating the budget forecast.
The administration’s budget typically kicks off the annual budgeting process, as Congress then shapes its budget resolution on the president’s request.
But this year that process is reversed, as both House Budget Commitee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) are planning to release their 2014 budgets next week.
The House and Senate Armed Services Committees started their 2014 budget hearings with military officials this week without a budget.
A GOP congressional aide said that the delay is fueling what’s already a high level of budget anxiety in the Pentagon due to sequester and the lack of a 2013 budget resolution.
“Budget delays fuel uncertainty in the military, an uncertainty that is already being inflicted through sequester,” the aide said. “It is precisely this kind of uncertainty that the uniformed senior commanders have asked Congress and the Commander and Chief to prevent.”
The White House has blamed the hold-up on the uncertainty caused by fights over the fiscal cliff, sequestration and the continuing resolution to fund the government that expires March 27.
Sessions blasted the administration last week when it appeared the budget would come at the end of March.
“He will be submitting it after the House and Senate have produced a budget proposal and adjourned for Easter. So while the President speaks of his deep concern for American workers and families, he fails to even submit to Congress his financial plan to help those workers and families,” Sessions said.
Isn’t that just like a procrastinator? “Sorry guys, but our dog ate the budget projections.” Blaming those who are actually doing their jobs and coming up with a budget on their own is typical Obama. Goodness, even Harry Reid’s Senate is actually going to come up with a budget.
Congress should amend the budget act to include a penalty if a president fails to meet the budget deadline. Sending him to his room without supper might be apropos, but I think house arrest is probably more to the point. Keeping the president from playing golf while the budget isn’t finished would probably do more to speed up the process than anything else.