House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said late Thursday that
the Democrats have not moved a budget blueprint because they do not have
the votes to do so.
Republicans have ripped Democrats in recent weeks for not producing a budget, saying that failing to do so would be unprecedented in the modern era of the House of Representatives.
Boehner's comments shed light on Democrats' struggle to cobble up enough support for a budget within their caucus with the midterm elections fast approaching and the legislative days running short.
"The issue is Speaker Pelosi broke the back of her Democrat colleagues in order to pass their healthcare bill," Boehner said. "And not long after, the Speaker said there won't be any more tough votes this year. Trust me, passing a budget is a tough vote, because you have got to make real decisions about spending and how spending is going to go on."
Democratic leaders have not yet made a decision on whether to move forward with a budget. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said that her caucus is working to produce one, but divisions within her caucus could make it difficult.
Liberal members would prefer her to move on big issues, but leadership has opted to take a lighter schedule to allow vulnerable Democrats to spend time in their districts to marshal support for the fall. More conservative Democrats fear that a big budget could produce large spending that could be a lightning rod for criticism.
Democratic leaders have deflected criticism over the budget, saying that Republicans created large deficits when they controlled Congress during the George W. Bush administration. They have also trumpeted the passage of pay-go legislation that is supposed to offset new spending, but Republicans have said there are too many carve-outs, such as those for "emergency spending."