This week's most frequently repeated description of the Obama fiscal 2014 budget, which is scheduled to be released this Wednesday, April 10, will be something close to "...which was sent to Congress more than two months after the statutory February 4 deadline..."
Yes, the budget is very late. Yes, this may be the latest any president has ever sent his budget to Congress since the Congressional Budget Act became law in 1974. And, yes, in spite of the fiscal cliff at the beginning of January and the sequester on March 1, both of which got in the way of the typical presidential budget formulation process, this extreme delay is more than just a little hard to fathom.
Having said that, the only real difference the delay to April will make in this year's debate is that it deprived House and Senate Republicans from declaring the president's budget dead on arrival in February.
Some quick budget topics that deserve a mention but not a whole post:
1. About the delayed Obama fiscal 2014 budget
I've already posted once about this. On the one hand, the fact that the president's budget isn't going to be sent to Congress until early April (the current rumored date is April 8) is very distressing. On the other hand, the crocodile tears and phony outrage that will come from GOP members of Congress when the budget finally is released will be laughable.
Think about this: The Obama budget would have been declared dead on arrival by the GOP if it had been submitted by the February 4 statutory deadline and it would immediately have been ignored. Now those same House and Senate Republicans will wail about not having the chance to review what the president proposed before they put together their own budgets.
2. About the fiscal 2014 budget resolution
I doubt it.
For the record...Does anyone else marvel at Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell's ability not to get tarnished by the fiscal cliff?
I hate to say I told you so, but...
I predicted as far back as May (here, here and especially here) that House Speaker John Boehner's reelection as speaker could be in trouble if it looked to the tea party wing of the Republican Party that he was capitulating to the White House on taxes during the fiscal cliff negotiations.
I was called delusional (or worse) by some for saying that.
The offer made yesterday by House Republicans to the White House to avoid the fiscal cliff got all the headlines, but there were two reasons why it wasn't the most important fiscal cliff-related story of the day.
First, it wasn't really a serious offer. In spite of the fact that the letter to the White House says the House GOP wasn't going to respond in kind to what it considered a totally unlikely-to-ever-be-acceptable opening offer from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner last week, that's exactly what it did. That made it easy for the White House to quickly dismiss it and leave the fiscal cliff negotiations where the were when the day began: not started.