The White House won’t meet its legal deadline of Feb. 4 to submit a budget to Congress for the fourth time in five years, the Obama administration informed House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan Friday.
Acting Budget Director Jeff Zients contacted Ryan, a House aide told The Hill
. “Zients did not indicate how late the administration will delay its submission, simply noting ‘We will submit it to Congress as soon as possible,’” the aide said.
The law requires the president to give Congress a budget proposal by the first Monday in February. But Ryan’s office says that Obama has missed the budget deadline by more than any president since the 1920s. Obama’s first budget took until May. His second was the only one delivered on time. The last two came in February.
That last-minute fiscal-cliff deal, finalized Jan.1, has made the budget process more complicated, because it didn’t finalize 2013 appropriations or reverse nearly $1 trillion in automatic spending cuts initiated as part of the 2011 debt-ceiling deal.
“They [White House officials] have no baseline,” one expert told The Hill. The administration also may be hesitant to release a budget lest it be interpreted as the opening offer in the upcoming debate about raising the $16.4 trillion debt limit.
Some House Republicans are willing to shut the government down or allow it to default if that’s what is necessary to bring President Barack Obama around on spending cuts.
House Speaker John Boehner “may need a shutdown just to get it out of their [Republican congressmen] system,” a top GOP leadership aide told Politico.
“We might need to do that for member-management purposes — so they have an endgame and can show their constituents they’re fighting.”
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