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Dereliction of Duty, Cont.

More options for congressional Democrats.

7:40 AM, Jun 21, 2010 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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An update to my piece for the magazine this week ("Dereliction of Duty"). In my efforts to simplify budget arcana, I left out some important information.

Dereliction of Duty, Cont.

I reported that some Republicans on Capitol Hill believe that congressional Democrats may push a vote on a budget resolution back until after the election. That's still true. But a more likely scenario is actually even worse: They won't hold a vote on a budget resolution at all.

Although it's possible that Democrats would hold a vote on the budget resolution in November or December, the only reason for doing so would be to give themselves political cover -- so that they could say that they didn't abdicate their responsibilities altogether. But since they have made the decision that they're not going to do a serious budget resolution, in a timely fashion, those efforts would be meaningless.

The more likely scenario is one in which the Democrats pass a "deeming resolution," which would allow them to set the allocation for overall discretionary spending, but opt to skip the budget resolution, for political cover. The "deeming resolution" does not set allocations on other types of spending and it makes it easier to raise discretionary spending to higher levels than it would have been with a vote on a budget resolution, as the original piece suggests.

Whatever procedural option congressional Democrats choose, the result will be the same: They are ignoring the law for purely political reasons. In this context, especially, one would think that might generate some high-volume objections from the erstwhile deficit scolds in the mainstream media.

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