Tennessee’s Sen. Bob Corker is quoted in a Politico report on how congressional Republicans are backing away from plans to push their own federal budget plan this year.
The reality lays bare a few critical dynamics. Republicans have undermined one of their core arguments for governing. On key fiscal matters, they have not been able to normalize legislating and hopes for regular order have been dashed. And that Congress can completely forgo a budget without consequence shows that the non-binding process means little, and proves to be just an annoyance for the party in power.
It’s all enough to make some Republicans want to abandon the broken process altogether.
“It’s a hoax. The assumptions that are made are totally unrealistic, there’s no policies behind them to follow up. So I’m in favor of is a total redo of the entire budget process, because it’s such a joke as it is right now,” fumed Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee. “It is meaningless relative to our fiscal discipline.”
In 2012, as Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell eyed the majority leader job, he committed to doing a budget “every year” when he got the majority. In 2014 he reiterated plans to pass a budget, which the GOP did last year in a late-night series of votes. All along House Republicans — led by now Speaker Paul Ryan — had been passing their own budgets, often at the risk of being attacked by Democrats.