For the second consecutive year, the Democrat-controlled United States Senate has unanimously rejected President Obama's 2013 budget. The final vote was 99-0, making the the running two-year tally 196-0. This move follows the House of Representatives' 414-0 rebuke of the same fiscal blueprint earlier this year. Astonishingly, not a single Senate Democrat has voted in favor of any budget for three years, even as they refuse to offer a plan of their own. Democrats have claimed that three fig leaves mitigate this embarrassing spectacle:
(1) "The Senate has already passed a budget!" False. The Senate has not passed a budget. It "deemed" itself a budget as part of a separate piece of legislation over the summer. That law did not address tax policy, entitlement programs, and a slew of other items that a real budget entails. Harry Reid's hand-picked Senate Parliamentarian has confirmed Republicans' contention that the Senate has not fulfilled its basic budgetary obligations. This is the 1,113th day in a row that this has been the case.
(2) "Republican obstructionism!" False. Budgets explicitly cannot be filibustered. If Democrats introduced a budget, whipped their members, and called a vote, it would pass. Simple as that. Republicans couldn't do a thing to stop it. But that would require Democrats to put their long-term plans on paper, which they've been avoiding like the plague for entirely political reasons.
(3) "This vote is a gimmick!" If Democrats want to label an up-or-down vote on a Democratic president's budget a "gimmick," they're welcome to do so. In some ways, it's an appropriate description, given the pitiful gimmicks upon which Obama's budget relies -- even to achieve the fraudulent "savings" it claims. Had it not been defeated by Congress 513-0, Obama's budget would have added $11 Trillion to the gross national debt. It would literally never balance.
The Senate will now move on to vote on four separate Republican-proposed budgets, including the House-passed version. They will all receive more votes than President Obama's brainchild, but none is expected to pass. Stay tuned for updates...
UPDATE - The Senate has defeated the House-passed Ryan budget, 41-58. I counted five Republicans joining Democrats in voting it down, at least one of whom voted no because it doesn't go far enough. Democrats voted in lockstep against this budget, as they have on every proposed budget for the last three years. Head-to-head tally: Paul Ryan 41 - Barack Obama 0
UPDATE II - The Senate has defeated Senator Pat Toomey's (R-PA) budget resolution, 42-57. This is the seventh consecutive proposed Senate budget that has failed to attract even one Democrat vote.
UPDATE III - The Senate has rejected the two remaining GOP budget alternatives, authored by Senators Lee (17-82) and Paul (16-83). Harry Reid's Senate once again goes oh-fer on budgets, in an age of $16 Trillion debt, a national credit downgrade, and a struggling economy. Disgraceful.