Sen. Thune: Expect Senate to Punt Again on Budget

Thursday, 22 Mar 2012 04:43 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Sen. John Thune says there is no reason to believe that, after nearly three years of failing to pass a budget, the Senate will do so this year. The South Dakota Republican also told Fox News Wednesday the continuing budget stalemate is one reason it is critical the GOP win back the Senate in this year’s elections.
 
“The House, they submitted their budget this week. They actually voted on it in the Budget Committee and . . . it’s going to be on the floor, I think, next week,” said Thune, who sits on the Senate Budget Committee. “Under the law, the budget law, the Senate Budget Committee is supposed to by April 1 produce a budget, as well. And then the House and Senate are supposed to have acted by April 15th on a concurrent budget resolution.

“I don’t see any — I just don’t think there’s going to be any chance that the Senate again will pass a budget this year,” Thune told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “I think that the Budget Committee has talked about — the chairman has talked about — actually doing a budget, although that’s gone back and forth. But I think the message that’s coming down from the leadership, from [Majority Leader Harry] Reid, is: You can do a budget in the Budget Committee, but we’re not going to vote on it on the floor of the Senate.”

Thune said Reid can make the blanket statement, because Democrats control the Senate.

“That’s the power of the majority: You get to set the agenda in the Senate. That’s why elections matter,” Thune said. “And that’s why, if we get the majority back, the responsibility’s going to be upon us to do a budget next year — which would be the first time next year in four years that we’ll have acted on that.

“It’s really unfortunate, because you’re not setting out before the American people your plan for getting spending and debt under control — what you’re going to do to create jobs and grow the economy,” he said. “And that’s, frankly, what the House budget does — whether you like it or not. They have made an earnest effort to show the American people where they would lead this country.”

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