Republicans might skip a budget this year, suggesting entitlement cuts are dead on arrival

Trump and the boys.
(Image credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Congressional Republicans are considering foregoing a budget this year, in a tacit admission that big party-line legislation may be off the table before the 2018 elections, Politico reports. GOP leaders, including President Trump, discussed the possibility last weekend at Camp David, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reportedly arguing that even if he could find the votes for a budget, he was unlikely to get 51 votes to pass legislation sought by House GOP leaders to cut welfare, Medicare, and other social programs to tackle the federal deficit. Without a budget, the Senate can't use the reconciliation tool to pass legislation with a simple majority.

Scrapping a budget for top-line spending limits "would be an embarrassment for Republicans, who for years railed against Democrats when they avoided one of the most basic responsibilities of Congress," Politico says, but the idea is also infuriating House GOP conservatives, already likely to be on the losing end of current spending negotiations. "It's legislative malpractice to throw reconciliation out the window," Dan Holler, vice president of Heritage Action, told Politico. Until the Senate scraps the filibuster, "the only way we're going to be able to accomplish anything is through reconciliation," said Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.). "We have to use reconciliation."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us