Budget woes? Just don’t pass one

House Democrats may skip or delay a budget resolution because of the record deficit and midterm elections.

Lisa Mascaro
Tribune Washington Bureau
via LA Times

Facing the uncomfortable reality that the federal government’s 2011 budget shows record levels of red ink, congressional Democrats may resolve the politically thorny situation by simply refusing to pass a budget resolution this election year.

With voters in no mood to hear about Washington’s $1.3-trillion deficit, some moderate and conservative Democrats say they would rather sit this one out. They have found common cause with liberal colleagues who don’t want to pass spending cuts, especially while the economy is still struggling.

“I’m not going to vote for anything with that magnitude [of deficit],” said Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), a freshman running for reelection in the fall.

Connolly believes Congress should hold off on a vote until President Obama’s bipartisan debt commission delivers its recommendations in a report due by year’s end. He thinks his constituents will understand.

“Name one person who won or lost an election because they didn’t get a budget resolution passed,” Connolly said. “It’s totally inside baseball.”…

…Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) plans to press colleagues at their weekly luncheon on Tuesday to pass the resolution, even though the window to do so is tightening before legislators leave for a summer of campaigning.

“The timing is difficult,” Conrad said.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) believes Congress needs to take up the issue.

“People will think we’re not doing our work,” she said. “We spend their tax dollars. They want to know how we’re spending it.”

The complete article is at the LA Times.

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