By Erik Wasson - 02/13/14 10:23 AM EST
GOP irked as WH budget data delayed
The White House has revealed an added delay of part of its annual budget message to Congress, and Republicans are irked.
Earlier month, the Obama administration missed the legal deadline of Feb. 4 to deliver the budget and said it would deliver the documents on March 4 instead.
Now the Office of Management and Budget says some data will be missing from the release, and that data will instead come out on March 11.
“Historical tables and the Analytical Perspectives volume, which includes supplemental analyses will be released the following week. These materials provide highly technical background and historical information, the vast majority of which is already publicly available,” budget office spokesman Steven Posner told The Hill late Wednesday.
Posner stressed that the most important parts of the budget will be coming out as planned.
“All relevant information for the Congress and the public to understand and evaluate the President’s Budget will be released on March 4. This includes the main budget volume, which contains all of the key proposals, summary tables, and agency-level information, as well as the Appendix, which includes backup information useful to the Appropriations Committees,” he said.
The spokesman blamed Congress for its slow work on the budget for fiscal 2014 and on annual appropriations for the delays. The omnibus spending bill was finished only in January.
“We needed Congress to complete that work before we could finalize the Budget. Congress is supposed to complete appropriations by October 1. So the reality is that we will be producing a Budget in just seven weeks, instead of the four months that should be available. This is a very fast schedule,” he said.
White House Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell is scheduled to appear before the House and Senate Budget committees on March 5.
Senate Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) told The Hill he plans to formally request a delay of the hearing in order to wait for complete information.
“We need all the data to adequately evaluate the president's budget request,” he said.
Sessions also said he is starting to suspect that Senate Democrats have no plans to mark up their own budget resolution this year.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has so far not requested a delay in the Burwell hearing. He has said he intends to produce a budget resolution but said this week the timing is not set yet.