That this politically-calculated abdication was entirely predictable doesn't make it any less disgraceful:
Senate Democratic leaders on Friday said they do not intend to bring a fiscal 2013 budget up for a floor vote. "We do not need to bring a budget to the floor this year — it's done, we don't need to do it," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters on Friday. Reid and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) argued that the debt-limit agreement in August directs spending for the next year and said Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) has already asked the heads of the subcommittees to write their appropriations bills for fiscal 2013. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) has said he would probably mark up a budget resolution for 2013, but Reid recently told the Hill he didn't expect any floor action on a measure produced by the panel.
Schumer said it’s a "total falsity" for Republicans to say that Democrats haven't passed the budget. "We passed it on Aug. 2," Schumer said, referring to the debt deal. "They're attacking us because they have nothing better to do," Reid added. "They need something else to talk about."
Lest you've forgotten, this display comes within weeks of Reid & Co's woeful budget anniversary. A few points: First, pace Schumer, it's not a "total falsity" that Democrats haven't passed a budget. They haven't drawn up, introduced, or passed a fiscal blueprint in nearly three years. The debt deal "deemed" a budget to have passed, which is quite different than, you know, actually budgeting. Second, the Debt Deal Deem is just the latest excuse Democrats have offered for their inaction. They've been lying about this for years, mostly blaming Republican "obstructionism" -- which is a red herring of the highest order. The truth is that Senate Democrats refuse to do their job because they fear that producing a budget could hurt them politically. This was true in 2009, 2010, 2011, and today. Top budget committee Republicans are unloading on their Democrat colleagues. Rep. Paul Ryan:
Earlier today, Senate Democrats confirmed that they’ve given up on budgeting. What a disgrace. Senate Majority Leader Reid's refusal to budget is a recipe for crisis. By refusing to confront the storm clouds ahead, Senate Democrats are committing our nation to a future of debt, doubt and decline.
Sen. Jeff Sessions:
"By refusing to lay out a budget plan for public examination—a fact no one can deny—the Democrat Senate has forfeited the high privilege to lead this chamber. If Sen. Reid and his members stand by this announcement, it means that the American people will go through yet another year of crisis without Senate Democrats unveiling and standing behind a financial plan for our future. Budget Control Act spending caps, crafted behind closed doors and rushed to passage at the 11th hour under threat of panic, do not even approach the definition of the budget process that the law requires. They are not in any way or any sense a Senate Democrat budget plan. There is no argument that can be made that these caps are a long-term vision for this country—not on taxes, not on entitlements, not on spending, not on debt."
Parting thought: As Senate Democrats continue to refuse to carry out the most basic (and legally mandated) obligations of governance, they've still managed to find the time to formally denounce a private charity for its decision to redirect roughly $700,000 of funds to better serve the needs of women. They should be absolutely ashamed of themselves, but that would require the capacity for shame.
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