ABC News’ Jake Tapper asked Carney whether President Obama agreed with comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at a hearing Tuesday to the effect that the Senate’s failure to pass a budget creates uncertainty for business firms; or with a recent assertion by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that the Senate does not need to bring a budget to the floor this year.With no budget there is nothing to be accountable for, no grounds on which to argue what should be spent and what should have reduced spending, no hard and fast details to campaign upon.
“The White House has no opinion on Chairman Bernanke’s assessment of how the Senate ought to do its business,” Carney replied.
Though the Democrats may feel this a clever ploy politically, the actions are not in accordance with the responsibilities accorded to the Senate by the Congressional Budget Act, enacted in 1974 to secure congressional authority over the nation's spending:
The way Congress develops tax and spending legislation is guided by a set of specific procedures laid out in the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. The centerpiece of the Budget Act is the requirement that Congress each year develop a "budget resolution" setting aggregate limits on spending and targets for federal revenue.
Yes, but Jay 'Chili-Con' Carney and the White House have no opinion on whether or not the Senate should trouble itself to meet these obligations. This is the very same White House committed to improving the nation's economy.
Though unnamed, a Republican aide was a little more forthright on the issue:
“When the Chairman of the Federal Reserve is telling us the lack of a budget — a long-term fiscal plan to get off our current path to a debt crisis — is harming the economy right now, one would think that would cause the White House concern. But apparently it doesn’t have an opinion,” said the aide.The fact is, the White House has an opinion, and the opinion is that not passing a budget is in their political favor, and they are in support of anything that will strengthen their hand, politically.
Meanwhile, Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is not quite so vague about his opinion on the matter:
“It should be a national scandal to think that the largest national entity in the world doesn’t even have a national budget,” said Johnson, “and one American party is afraid to show the American public what their plan to solve the debt and deficit issue is. It’s really jaw dropping.”
If it were a Republican-controlled Senate, Johnson opined, all the news outlets would be furiously covering the story.
“The comparison I would make is during the Iran Hostage Crisis, every national news outlet had a counter of the number of days that Americans were being held hostage in Iran. If we were a Republican senate, that’d be about the same thing –you’d see that 1,015 days behind newscasters,” Johnson said. “But nobody’s making a big deal because it’s a Senate controlled by Democrats.”
“The president, you can say, sure, he put a budget on the table, but it lost zero to 97 in the Senate last year, so the Senate Democrats haven’t had to put their fingers on any kind of financial plan at all when we’re sitting here running 1.4, 1.3, 1.3 trillion dollar deficits every year,” Johnson went on. “I think it’s outrageous. And I’m certainly trying to do everything I possibly can to draw the American public’s attention to that fact.”
“The president talks about being for the grand bargain,” added Johnson. “I’ve never seen it. And of course nobody has seen it because it doesn’t exist. It only exists in people’s imagination.”