The idea behind Reid's plan is to force Senate Republicans to vote on the measure, which could put incumbents facing tough reelections on the spot.
The Ryan budget is not expected to pass the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.
"I would hope they do," Reid said when asked if he thinks the Senate will reject the plan. "It would be one of the worst things to happen to this country if that came into effect."
A day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) put Republicans on the spot by saying he will bring the House Republicans’ budget proposal up for a vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) turned the tables by exercising his legislative prerogative to call for a vote on President Barack Obama’s budget.
The two votes amount to legislative brinkmanship by both party leaders. Mr. Reid wants to put Republicans on record supporting legislation authored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) that would eventually transform Medicare and Medicaid. Mr. McConnell, meanwhile, wants to force Democrats to vote on a plan that rolls back Bush-era tax cuts for people who make more than $250,000 and ignores many of the long-term costs driving the deficit.
“I understand that the Majority Leader would like to have a vote on the House-passed Ryan budget and we will,” Mr. McConnell said in a statement. “But we’ll have a vote on the President’s budget at the same time. Since there is no Democrat budget in the Senate, we’ll give our colleagues an opportunity to stand with the President in failing to address the problems facing our nation while calling for trillions in new spending, massive new debt and higher taxes on American energy, families and small businesses across the country.”
Given their heated rhetoric opposing spending discipline, I assume Senate Democrat leaders will happily call the president’s budget to a vote to demonstrate their support for a plan that dramatically grows our deficits and our taxes—making us less prosperous and less competitive as a result.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography