On the Sunday news shows, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., promised that the U.S. Senate would provide a budget this year. That shouldn't be news. The Senate should always present a budget to be considered. However, it is news because the U.S. Senate, under the leadership of Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has failed to present a budget for more than three years.
We hope that Sen. Schumer is correct. The failure of the U.S. Senate, controlled by Democrats, to live up to its fiscal responsibilities and produce a budget for consideration, has always been shameful. Such inaction underscores the partisan bickering and dysfunction that hamstrings Congress, the administration, and the overall national political process.
The negative effects of pols failing to budget extends beyond Washington and into our cities and neighborhoods. Families are unsure whether they can get loans or mortgages. Businesses are unsure whether they can expand and hire. Our family members and neighbors find it harder to get needed jobs.
Reid has tried to explain the Senate's inaction with excuses that any budget the Democrats pass in the Senate will be defeated in the House. He has tried to shift blame to the House, arguing that it has a responsibility to pass a budget that the Senate can agree to. But such talks is the whining of a poor, impotent leader. There is a process for hashing out a budget agreement. It can be long and arduous but it requires both the House and the Senate to pass budgets.
Once that is accomplished, both sides, along with leaders from both parties, can meet, debate, compromise and reconcile. The end result is usually a budget that both sides can agree on. That used to be the norm until Reid decided to not make the effort.
Even if both sides pass budgets and fail to reconcile, it is best when all efforts are expended by our pols. We sincerely hope that Senator Schumer's optimism that a Senate budget will be passed is true.
Reid's long failure to even try to present a budget has been an embarrassment that needs to end.