President Barack Obama will not have his budget completed in time to meet the legally-required February 4th deadline.
“The administration was forced to delay some of its FY 2014 budget preparations, which in turn will delay the budget’s submission to Congress,” said Acting Budget Director Jeff Zients in a letter to House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Monday. “We will submit it to Congress as soon as possible.”
President Obama has only once submitted his budget on time. Obama’s first budget wasn’t submitted until May, his second came on deadline, and his last two were submitted in late February. That, says Rep. Ryan’s office, gives Obama the distinction of missing more budget deadlines than any president since the 1920s.
The president’s most recent budget delay may be a tactical move designed not to give Republicans a starting point from which to negotiate during the upcoming debt ceiling debate. And as The Hill notes, “The Congressional Budget Office also faces fiscal cliff-related challenges in writing its annual budget outlook. That outlook, which normally comes out in January, will be released on Feb. 4, the CBO announced Monday.”
Yet Obama has chastised the practice of blowing deadlines. In the midst of the dustup over the fiscal cliff, Obama admonished lawmakers for waiting until the last minute to meet deadlines. “America wonders why it is in this town why you can’t get stuff done in an organized timetable,” said Obama. “Why everything has to always wait until the last minute. We’re now at the last minute. The American people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy.”
“Let’s not miss this deadline,” Obama said. “That’s the bare minimum we should be able to get done.”
As for when Pres. Obama plans to submit his FY 2014 budget, the White House hasn’t said. Zients says the Obama Administration is “working diligently” on getting it done.