On Thursday, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) gave MSNBC’s Chuck Todd a bumbling interview chock full of misleading and inaccurate statements as he attempted to explain why Senate Democrats reversed their decision to move forward with a budget mark-up.
“There was no reversal at all. What I have said consistently is that we have a budget for this year and next. Our friends have said repeatedly there’s been no budget resolution for 1,000 days. What they aren’t telling you is the whole story… There’s no need to do a budget for next year right now.”
Sen. Conrad claimed that passage of the so-called Budget Control Act set the budget for two years. That’s wrong. The Budget Control Act was merely a placeholder that implemented discretionary spending caps, which account for just 40 percent of total spending.
During his MSNBC interview, Sen. Conrad also claimed that the Budget Control Act was preferred over a traditional budget resolution because it is “far more extensive.” Again, not true. When the Budget Control Act was railroaded through the Senate, it stripped away important procedural rules that allow for robust debate on spending and oversight.
The Republican Ranking Member on the Senate Budget Committee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) blasted Democrats’ budgetary backpedal:
“Chairman Conrad’s stunning announcement, forced on him by his party, is a defining moment in 2012 and a national embarrassment for a Senate majority that is unable to meet the great challenge of our time.”
The last time the U.S. Senate passed a budget was April 29, 2009.