Senate Democrats are slamming Republicans for the "disrespectful" decision to ignore President Obama's final budget request.
Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Finance: US preps cases linking North Korea to Fed heist | GOP chair says Dodd-Frank a 2017 priority | Chamber pushes lawmakers on Trump's trade pick | Labor nominee faces Senate Sanders: Block Trump's SEC pick Eye on 2018: Five special elections worth watching MORE (I-Vt.), a Democratic presidential candidate who is also the ranking member of the Budget Committee, sent a letter to Sen. Mike EnziMike EnziTop Dem: Trump's State Dept. cuts a 'Ponzi scheme' Republicans eye strategy for repealing Wall Street reform Lawmakers fundraise amid rising town hall pressure MORE (R-Wyo.) with other Senate Democrats decrying the decision to skip hearings as "overt partisanship."
"This year, with no unusual circumstances to prevent us from doing our work, we have been provided with no reasonable explanation for the decision not to hold a hearing. Furthermore, this decision runs counter to repeated calls by the majority for regular order in the Senate," the senators wrote in the letter to Enzi, who chairs the Budget Committee.
President Obama released his final budget request on Tuesday morning, a $4.1 trillion plan that includes a litany of liberal policy proposals that have little chance of becoming law.
Republicans in both chambers of Congress are opting to skip the traditional hearings on the budget request with Shaun DonovanShaun DonovanHouse Dems call on OMB to analyze Senate budget plan Overnight Finance: Dems turn up heat on Wells Fargo | New rules for prepaid cards | Justices dig into insider trading law GOP reps warn Obama against quickly finalizing tax rules MORE, the White House's budget director. Instead, the leaders of the House and Senate budget committees said they plan to focus on writing a budget that balances.
Senate Democrats in their letter said they are "disappointed" and "dismayed" with the GOP's decision.
"The president's budget is more than a political document; it is a compilation of the opinions of experts throughout the government," Sanders and the Democratic senators wrote.
The letter comes after Democrats on the House Budget Committee sent a similar letter to Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), who chairs the House committee.
In addition to Sanders, the letter was signed by Democratic Sens. Ron WydenRon WydenOvernight Finance: US preps cases linking North Korea to Fed heist | GOP chair says Dodd-Frank a 2017 priority | Chamber pushes lawmakers on Trump's trade pick | Labor nominee faces Senate Dem senator: House Intel chairman may have revealed classified info US Chamber urges quick vote on USTR nominee Lighthizer MORE (Ore.), Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowRNC drops six-figure ad buy for Supreme Court, healthcare fight Five things to watch for in Supreme Court showdown Red-state Dems in Supreme Court pressure cooker MORE (Mich.), Patty MurrayPatty MurrayFive takeaways from Labor pick’s confirmation hearing Overnight Regulation: Trump’s budget proposes .5B in Labor Dept. cuts Trump proposes .5B in Labor cuts MORE (Wash.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseLive coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing Dems land few punches on Gorsuch Overnight Regulation: Dems punch back in fight over CEO pay rule MORE (R.I.), Mark WarnerMark WarnerOvernight Cybersecurity: House Intel chair says surveillance collected on Trump transition team Dem senator: House Intel chairman may have revealed classified info Dem senator wants Manafort to testify before Intelligence Committee MORE (Va.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyDem senator accuses Trump of 'dangerous tilt towards authoritarianism' Overnight Regulation: Dems punch back in fight over CEO pay rule Bernie Sanders, Menendez 'troubled' by delay of CEO pay rule MORE (Ore.), Tammy BaldwinTammy BaldwinRNC drops six-figure ad buy for Supreme Court, healthcare fight Red-state Dems in Supreme Court pressure cooker Senate advances Coats as national intel chief MORE (Wis.) and Tim KaineTim KaineRNC drops six-figure ad buy for Supreme Court, healthcare fight Lawmakers want Trump commitment to help Iraq post-ISIS Senate Dems introduce bill to rescind Trump border wall, immigration order MORE (Va.) and by Independent Sen. Angus KingAngus KingGOP rep scolds Gillibrand for tearing into Marine general over nude-photo scandal This week: GOP works to corral votes on healthcare plan Maine senator: House GOP healthcare plan hammers my state MORE (Maine).