House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) took off the kid gloves on Wednesday and blasted his Senate counterpart, Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), with whom he has had a cordial relationship in the past.
Ryan said that Conrad had caused an “embarrassing spectacle” by staging a budget resolution markup that will not feature actual votes on a budget.
“It has been three years since Chairman Conrad last advanced a budget through the U.S. Senate. That budget from 2009 accelerated the looming debt crisis by helping to jam a massive healthcare overhaul into law on a partisan basis,” he added.
Conrad had promised to mark up a budget resolution in committee as part of last August's deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.
He claims that by producing his own resolution — a version of President Obama's fiscal commission plan from 2010 — and airing opening statements, he had held a markup.
He said on Tuesday that the Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission plan should be the basis for bipartisan negotiations in the coming months and that the markup votes could materialize after the election.
Ryan produced his own partisan budget this year with massive cuts to government spending and no new taxes. The House passed that budget last month and is writing 12 annual appropriations bills according to its lower spending levels.
Ryan and Conrad served on the Bowles-Simpson commission together, and while Ryan did not vote for the plan, he has praised Conrad as a member serious about the deficit in the past.
Senate Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) on Tuesday said that party leaders were to blame for the “non-markup” rather than Conrad, who had tried to cobble together a Democratic budget.