By Erik Wasson - 01/24/12 04:12 PM EST
Senate Democrats on Tuesday moved to rebut GOP claims that the Senate has not passed a budget in exactly 1,000 days. They are arguing that the August debt-ceiling deal, known as the Budget Control Act, was in fact a budget.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad’s (D-N.D.) staff released a fact sheet saying that the BCA in all important respects was a budget. It included discretionary spending limits and did address mandatory spending through the supercommittee process, Democrats argued.
“The Budget Control Act achieved all of the essential elements of a traditional budget — setting discretionary caps, providing enforcement mechanisms, and creating a process for addressing entitlement spending and revenues,” Conrad’s staff stated in the the fact sheet.
“Republican rhetoric aside, Congress did pass a budget.”
The GOP for months has been hammering Senate Democrats for failing to pass a budget. Last spring, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) argued that voting on a separate budget would interfere with deficit-reduction talks then under way between President Obama and the GOP. Conrad drafted a budget resolution but would not release it or mark it up in committee.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that Democrats should be embarrassed to claim the BCA as their budget blueprint because the BCA "fell far, far short of solving this country’s fiscal problems."
"If the BCA is their answer to fiscal sanity and preventing a debt crisis, then heaven help us," Ryan said.