The chance that the majority Democrats will pass a budget this year is “fading,” Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said Tuesday.
He is pessimistic because House Democrats don’t know whether they want to pass a resolution that would officially acknowledge the certainty of big deficits. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and other Democrats have indicated that would be a tough vote in an election year.
Conrad said the Senate was getting “mixed signals” from the House and time is running out, not least because the Senate has a packed legislative agenda.
“I have told my staff we’ve got to look at all options because it appears that the chance of doing a budget resolution in both chambers is fading,” Conrad said.
Eschewing a budget resolution could complicate efforts to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for individuals making less than $200,000 and couples making less than $250,000 annually.
President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders want to extend the tax cuts for the middle class but not for the wealthy. Republicans are pushing to extend all of the tax cuts.