Reid: Ryan, Boehner stalling on budget

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems face identity crisis Heller under siege, even before healthcare Charles Koch thanks Harry Reid for helping his book sales MORE (D-Nev.) on Tuesday blasted House Republicans and Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanRyan: This could be ‘most productive’ presidency, Congress in our lifetime Ryan: 'I think the left is out of gas' Chaffetz calls for ,500 legislator housing stipend MORE (R-Wis.), saying they are stalling on the creation of a budget conference committee.

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Now that the Senate has passed a budget for the first time in four years, the next step in regular order would be to try to reconcile it with the House-passed budget by convening such a committee.

On Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that he wants a “framework” in place before agreeing to such a conference and that he does not want to convene a panel if nothing can get done. 

Reid shot back that Ryan is holding things up. 

“Chairman Ryan said ‘we want to have a pre-conference.’ Well you can’t have it both ways. Does he want regular order? Obviously not! So the prior talk was all happy talk because they are not able to fulfill the commitment that they made to do regular order,” Reid said. 

“We have had Republicans yelling and screaming, sometimes violently, to have regular order. They said Democrats should do a budget, even though we had a law, they wanted a resolution. And we did that. Once that’s done, they’re not interested in regular order,” the majority leader said. 

Reid noted that the Senate on Monday physically sent its budget resolution to the House so Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerChaffetz calls for ,500 legislator housing stipend GOP super-PAC promises big spending in 2018 Ryan reminds lawmakers to be on time for votes MORE (R-Ohio) could procedurally appoint conferees at this point. 

Reid could also force the issue by trying to pass a motion to go to conference on the Senate floor.  He avoided Tuesday saying whether or not he would do that. 



For now, Reid said Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty MurrayPatty MurrayDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Live coverage: Senate GOP unveils its ObamaCare repeal bill Senators grill Perry on Yucca nuclear storage plans MORE (D-Wash.) would be “asking” for the chance to go to conference.


“Yes we sent our…resolution to the House yesterday. And Chairman Murray is going to start asking quite often for the ability to go to conference,” Reid said.

He said BoehnerJohn BoehnerChaffetz calls for ,500 legislator housing stipend GOP super-PAC promises big spending in 2018 Ryan reminds lawmakers to be on time for votes MORE during White House fiscal talks said there could be serious talks on further deficit reduction once the Senate passed a budget. 

“And at the White House the Speaker said we’ll look forward to doing something more when we get a budget. We’ve done it, they've done it and there’s still no talks,” Reid complained. 

Boehner's office responded to Reid Tuesday, saying the Speaker is in fact seeking to convene a formal conference.

“While there are stark differences between the House Republican budget, which balances, and the Senate Democratic one, which doesn’t, we are very hopeful that the talks between Chairmen Ryan and Murray are productive and will lead to a formal conference. That’s our goal, and we hope it’s the goal of Senate Democrats as well," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said.

--This report was updated at 3:24 p.m.