It’s official: Senate Democrats won’t attempt to pass a budget this year.
Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) revealed the decision in a statement provided to TPM on Friday, citing the two-year budget deal she struck with House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) last December, which passed Congress and set spending levels for 2014 and 2015.
“I went into my negotiations with Chairman Ryan hoping we could give the American people some much needed certainty after years of lurching to crisis to crisis, and I was very glad that our two-year budget deal accomplished that,” Murray said, arguing that “this budget year is settled and it wouldn’t be productive to relitigate it so soon after our two-year deal.”
A mix of election-year considerations and the prospect of taking politically perilous votes also motivated Democrats to jettison the budget this year.
“Many Republicans have made it clear that they don’t have any interest in actually debating a long-term budget in the Senate, they just want to reopen the FY15 budget so they can hijack the process to play politics and use a vote-a-rama for partisan and campaign-related show-votes,” said a senior Democratic aide, who requested anonymity to speak candidly.
House Republican leaders haven’t yet announced if they’ll write a budget this year, but have signaled that they expect to.