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Published on Feb 12, 2012
WASHINGTON, February 12—Under the law, a budget requires only 51 votes to pass the Senate—not 60. Jack Lew, the president's former director of the Office of Management and Budget (the top budget post in the administration) and current Chief of Staff, should be more familiar than most with this law. But today on CNN's "State of the Union," Lew falsely asserted that a budget requires 60 votes to pass. (Previously, another senior Democrat made the same claim: http://youtu.be/ifvp5P7U5AU.)
The controversy over Senate Democrats' failure to budget escalated recently when Majority Leader Reid declared that Senate Democrats "do not need to bring a budget to the floor this year." This would mark the third consecutive year—a record—that the Democrat Senate failed to offer a budget plan to the American people. Last year, they didn't even draft one for presentation in committee—keeping it a closely guarded secret, never shared with the public. As of today, it has been 1,019 days since the Senate's Democrat majority has offered a budget plan on the floor of the Senate.
Federal Reserve Chairman was asked about the uncertainty connected with the lack of a budget plan at a Budget Committee hearing this month and replied in part "...Is uncertainty negative on growth? I think it is."
Subsequently, ABC's Jake Tapper asked WH Spokesman Jay Carney about the situation at the daily press briefing. Here is an excerpt from that exchange:
TAPPER: "The White House has no opinion about whether or not the Senate should pass a budget? The president is going to introduce one, the Fed chair says not having one is bad for growth, but the White House has no opinion?"
CARNEY: "I have no opinion, the White House has no opinion..."
Ranking Member Sessions, describing the shirking of responsibility from the Senate's leaders said this: "By refusing to lay out a budget plan for public examination the Democrat Senate has forfeited the high privilege to lead this chamber."