Senate Democrats, including Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray, are hiding their budget from their Republican colleagues, Breitbart News has learned exclusively. Murray did share her budget plan with her Democratic colleagues on Tuesday.
The budget is scheduled for markup on Wednesday morning in committee, and senators are only expected to read opening statements at the hearing. It will not be until later on Wednesday that Republicans will be allowed to read the full budget proposal.
House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, on the other hand, shared his budget with his Democratic colleagues ahead of its release. It is unclear why Murray will not show the budget to Republicans ahead of the Wednesday morning markup hearing. A Murray spokesman has not immediately returned Breitbart News’ request for comment.
A Senate Republican aide told Breitbart News it is possible Senate Democrats will not share their budget ahead of its public release with their colleagues across the aisle because it embarrasses them.
“I think it speaks volumes about Senate Democrats’ fear of the American people that they must hide their plan until they’ve first had a chance to mislead the media about it,” the Senate GOP aide said in an email. “If they had courage and confidence their plan would be popular, they would have been on the Sunday shows and holding press conferences bragging about it, as did Chairman Ryan. Instead, it’s leaks and crickets.”
What is known about Murray’s budget is already proving problematic for the Democrats. The Hill reports the budget includes $1 trillion in tax hikes; Murray claims it contains about $1.85 trillion in deficit reduction between spending cuts and tax hikes. Murray’s budget also voids sequester cuts for the next nine years.
The Hill’s Erik Wasson notes that “once the sequester cuts are turned off, Murray’s budget appears to reduce deficits by about $800 billion, using the Congressional Budget Office’s baseline.” He adds that Murray’s budget “does not contain net spending cuts with the sequester turned off.”
The Murray budget, according to Wasson, also includes “reconciliation instructions on tax reform, a move that could allow the budget, which cannot be filibustered in the Senate, to become the legislative vehicle for a tax reform bill.”
Murray is supposedly moving forward with that idea even though such a stunt is likely to spark massive Democratic Party infighting. Wasson notes that Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, “has opposed including the instructions in the budget, arguing it would tie his hands in tax reform.”
A spokesperson for Baucus has not responded to Breitbart News’ request for comment on how he feels about Murray’s move to include tax reform reconciliation in the budget package.