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Even Without a Budget on Budget Day, Parties Gear Up for Battle Over Spending

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Republicans harped on the White House for not releasing a budget proposal Monday, with Boehner saying, “The economy could use presidential leadership right now.”

This year, the release of the White House budget in the coming weeks likely will come around the time Ryan releases his own spending blueprint and as Senate Democrats begin work on their first budget resolution in four years.

Ryan issued a statement Monday saying that the missed deadline would “delay choices we need to make.”

By law, the budget is supposed to be released on the first Monday of February, but there is no penalty for missing the deadline. Carney declined to say when the plan will be released, but congressional staff who are familiar with the process anticipate early March.

The Obama administration has blamed the delay on uncertainty surrounding how Congress would deal with expiring tax cuts and automatic spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff, a question that was resolved on Jan. 1.

Ryan pledged Monday that the House would meet its April 1 deadline for adopting a fiscal 2014 budget resolution, a tax and spending framework, as it did last year. Budget law requires the House and Senate to complete action on a budget resolution by April 15.

After three years in which the Senate did not consider a budget resolution, new Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., said the chamber will consider a budget resolution this year, though the timing is unclear.

House leaders promised the GOP plan would lay out a path for balancing the budget in 10 years, something that budget experts said will be a challenge and that Democrats said would require onerous cuts in domestic programs.

“Republicans will meet our obligations and pass another budget in the coming weeks that addresses our spending problem, promotes robust job creation and expands opportunity for all Americans,” Boehner said in a statement.

Though no date has been set, the House Budget Committee is expected to mark up its budget during the third week of March, with House consideration the following week.

Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office will release a new budget and economic forecast Tuesday, setting out a baseline estimating what spending, taxes and the deficit would be for the next 10 years if all current laws were followed. That baseline will provide the common measuring stick for the budget proposals and the programs that are included.

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