The Democratic Congress hasn’t adopted a budget in more than two years. This isn’t just irresponsible, it is illegal. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, has been hammering away at the Democrats’ dereliction, and things are starting to get a little hot for Harry Reid and Kent Conrad. Loyal Democrats like Dana Milbank and Tim Kaine are criticizing them for blowing off the budget, and Senate Democrats who have to fact the voters next year are reportedly getting nervous. So Harry Reid, naturally, is trying to change the subject.
For the last two mornings, Reid has started proceedings in the Senate with a demagogic blast at Sessions and the Republicans. Yesterday morning he said:
“Madam President, on this side of the aisle for Democrats, protecting the seniors on Medicare is our top priority. I heard our friend, the Ranking Member on the Budget Committee, come here and talk for hours, and he keeps talking about things that really have no bearing on what I think is important for the country today, and that is we know that the Republicans have put forward a budget that destroys Medicare.
This morning, it was more of the same. It would certainly come as a surprise to most voters that the federal budget–or lack thereof–along with the broader issues of federal spending and debt, “have no bearing on what…is important for the country today.”
Funny, though, that Reid should bring up Medicare in this context, since that program raises another instance of the Democrats’ flouting of their legal duties. Coincidentally, yesterday Senator Sessions and Paul Ryan, on behalf of the House Budget Committee, wrote to President Obama to ask him to comply with federal law relating to Medicare. You can read the letter in its entirety here; these are excerpts:
You’ll want to read the whole thing.