Fox News host Bret Baier had a straightforward question last night for Obama advisor David Axelrod: "Why haven't Senate Democrats passed a budget resolution in 1,040 days?" It's the sort of question that's probably not asked enough, especially considering Republicans in the House have passed a budget in that time and they--under the leadership of Paul Ryan--introduced a new budget yesterday.
Axelrod punted. "Well, I think you understand the dynamics in the Senate, Bret," said Axelrod. "And you know, there are lots of things that we haven't been able to pass over the course of the last three years, and a lot of it...some are procedural..."
Baier interrupted to remind Axelrod that only 51 votes are needed to pass a budget in the Senate (and, of course, there are currently 53 Democratic senators in the Senate, and only 47 Republicans).
"Understand," Axelrod countered, before again not answering the question. "But we've got -- we've got deep divisions in the Congress between the House and the Senate, and that's complicated our ability to get these things done. And one hope is that when we win this election that there'll be a greater spirit of cooperation moving forward."
Baier said, "You know, people sit home and say, I have to do a budget. I have to do a budget about my family spending. Why can't Senate Democrats do a budget if they control the Senate and they need 51 votes to put it through?"
Yet again, Axelrod punted. "Because they also don't have to deal with the theater of politics in making their budgets. We obviously have to budget and we do budget and deal with our budgetary challenges. The president has cut domestic spending, discretionary spending, by $1.2 trillion in order to accommodate the budget and the demands of our budget. And we're going to continue to do the things to live within our means while still moving our economy forward."