Congress's Vanishing Budget

Congress's Vanishing Budget
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file

One rare point of consensus across the ideological spectrum is that the congressional budget process is broken. The House has failed to pass a budget the last two fiscal years. The Senate is even worse, passing a budget only two of the last seven years. And despite recent headlines, the problem is not always budget disagreements between the two chambers. Lately, the chambers do not even make an attempt to reconcile them.

Budgets offered by both parties have morphed from honest funding proposals to party position papers. Contemporary budget proposals are used as ideological wish-lists that are not expected ever to face a vote, much less to pass. Put directly, budgets have become messaging documents, not the instigators of difficult budget decisions.

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