White House: Budget likely in early April


The White House confirmed Tuesday that their budget would likely come the week of April 8, two months after the deadline mandated by law.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the administration would "probably put out the budget the week of April 8" at his daily press briefing. It was the first time the White House has explicitly acknowledged the planned release, although congressional aides said last week that the White House was targeting April 8.

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On Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) released his budget, which cut $5.7 trillion over the next decade to reach a balance. Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) also outlined her competing budget proposal, which includes nearly $1 trillion in new taxes.

The president's budget typically precedes proposals from Congress, and is expected in the first week in February. This is the third consecutive year that Obama has missed that deadline.

On Tuesday, Carney defended the White House's delay, which has drawn jeers from congressional Republicans.

"Our fiscal challenges are important, and our budget priorities are very important, but the American people expects us to be working on all of them," Carney said.

He also dismissed criticism from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who said Tuesday that the president's plan to submit a budget in April would be equivalent to dropping a "bomb" on the legislative process.

"Rather than helping to lead Congress toward a reasonable outcome, it appears the president is happy to drop the bomb on the congressional budget process instead, by releasing his budget plan after — after — the House and Senate have already acted," McConnell said on the Senate floor. "The president should send over his budget now, not next week, or next month, but today, so both sides can consider it at a time when it might be helpful, rather than destructive, to the entire process."

Brendan Buck, spokesman for Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio), also responded to the budget announcement from the White House.

“It’s understandable that the president would be embarrassed to release a budget that never balances, but there is no excuse for this unprecedented delay and failure of leadership. Clearly he doesn’t take seriously the threat that this mountain of debt poses to our economy and future generations of Americans,” Buck said.

Carney said Republicans were likely to complain about whenever Obama released his budget.

"I have no doubt that any time the president introduces his budget, that perhaps Sen. McConnell... will say it was wildly inconvenient that day or that week or that month," Carney said.

Updated at 2:03 p.m.

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