Budget Politics And Posturing Continues At Both Ends Of Pennsylvania Avenue
Even as congressional leaders met with President Barack Obama on budget matters, the Senate voted on -- and rejected -- a series of budget proposals. Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner draws a line in the sand regarding the next vote to raise the federal debt limit.
Los Angeles Times: Congress' Partisan Fight Persists Despite High-Level Overture
As President Obama welcomed congressional leaders for a White House chat over hoagies about setting aside differences to improve the economy, a far different scenario was unfolding at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Republicans in the House and Senate were conducting a series of partisan maneuvers Wednesday on legislation that has no chance of reaching the president's desk. The votes in the Senate on budget measures, which would slash social programs and revamp Medicare, were designed to underscore the GOP's alternatives to Obama's policies in advance of the November election (Mascaro, 5/16).
The Fiscal Times: Boehner to Dems: We Won't Blink First on Debt Deal
The political fault lines and tensions between the two parties heading into the crucial fall presidential and congressional elections were on full display yesterday during the third annual fiscal summit sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. "When the time comes, I will again insist on my simple principle of cuts and reforms greater than the debt limit increase," [House Speaker John] Boehner said in the closing speech of the day (Pianin, 3/16).
The Washington Post: Senate Rejects Obama Budget, Republican Alternatives
Among the Republican plans advanced on the floor was the spending plan authored by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). It would balance the budget over the next three decades, in part by cutting deeply into social safety network spending and revamping Medicare. Like Obama’s budget, it failed to garner adequate votes to continue to a full debate. Republicans forced the series of budget votes to highlight Democrats' failure to advance their own plan. The Senate rejected Obama’s budget on a 0 to 99 vote (Helderman, 5/16).
The New York Times' The Caucus: Senate Republicans Engineer Rebuke On Budget
Republicans charged that Democrats have been derelict in their statutory duty to bring forward a budget. No long-term solution to the nation's fiscal problems can be reached, they say, unless both parties are willing to agree on their visions for spending and taxes, then go to the table to negotiate. Democratic leaders have made it clear that they do not want to subject their members to the politically difficult votes Republicans would spring on them if they brought a budget to the floor (Weisman, 5/16).
The Associated Press: Senate Democrats Reject House GOP Budget Plan
Democrats controlling the Senate rejected for the second year in a row Wednesday a budget plan passed by House Republicans. The 58-41 vote against the GOP budget came after a daylong debate in which Democrats blasted Republicans for refusing to consider tax increases as part of a solution to trillion-dollar deficits, and Republicans in turn attacked Democrats for not offering a budget at all (Taylor, 5/16).