House Democrats on Wednesday increased their pressure on Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerWounded Ryan faces new battle Bottom Line Trump, GOP fumble chance to govern MORE (R-Ohio) to convene a formal House-Senate budget conference committee.
All 17 Democrats on the House Budget Committee sent a letter to BoehnerJohn BoehnerWounded Ryan faces new battle Bottom Line Trump, GOP fumble chance to govern MORE calling for the committee to be created.
The Senate passed a budget this year for the first time in four years, after Republicans made its failure to do so a pet issue.
Reconciling the Senate budget with the House-passed budget would provide a cap for 2014 spending, easing the passage of 12 annual appropriations bills. It could also resolve uncertainty about the looming debt ceiling.
“Now that President Obama has provided his spending blueprint for the approaching fiscal year, it is the responsibility of both chambers to promptly organize a conference committee and proceed with budget deliberations under regular order,” the letter states.
The members write that “there is no excuse for dysfunction in Congress, and there can be no justification for the failure to engage in a meaningful attempt to find common ground.”
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul Ryan3 reasons Devin Nunes must step away from the Trump probe Wounded Ryan faces new battle Can Trump rebound after failure on healthcare bill? MORE (R-Wis.) told reporters on Tuesday that he is trying to get a “framework” agreement in place before agreeing to convene a conference with Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty MurrayPatty MurrayInspector general reviewing HHS decision to halt ObamaCare ads Dems mock House GOP over lack of women in healthcare meeting The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee MORE (D-Wash.)
The House and Senate budget are vastly different and Ryan said he only wants to set up the meetings if they can accomplish a down payment on the deficit.
Democrats say that after clamoring for “regular order” and against backroom budget deals, Republicans must now follow through.
Privately, they say they are eager for the chance to put the spotlight on the GOP’s unwillingness to end tax breaks for wealthy in exchange for real spending cuts.
“The American people, many of whom are still enduring the effects of an economy in recovery, deserve no less than an honest and serious effort by the House and Senate to reconcile differences and move our nation forward by enacting a budget,” the letter states.
The letter is also signed by Reps. Allyson Schwartz (Penn.), John YarmuthJohn YarmuthCBO releases new score for ObamaCare repeal bill Dems wonder: Can GOP even pass a budget? Pelosi: Trump budget a ‘slap in the face’ MORE (Ky.), Bill Pascrell (N.J.), Tim Ryan (Ohio), Gwen MooreGwen MooreBlack Dems tell Trump: ‘We have a lot to lose’ Dem rep to introduce bill to block use of federal funds for Trump's border wall A guide to the committees: House MORE (Wis.), Kathy Castor (Fla.), Jim McDermottJim McDermottLobbying World Dem lawmaker: Israel's accusations start of 'war on the American government' Dem to Trump on House floor: ‘Stop tweeting’ MORE (Wash.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), Mark PocanMark PocanDem bill would codify elections as critical infrastructure Dems bringing young undocumented immigrants to Trump's speech A guide to the committees: House MORE (Wis.), Michelle Lujan Grisham (N.M.), Jared Huffman (Calif.), Tony Cardenas (Calif.), Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerOvernight Finance: Biz groups endorse Trump's Labor pick | New CBO score coming before health bill vote | Lawmakers push back on public broadcasting cuts Dem, GOP lawmakers push back against Trump’s cuts to public broadcasting Trump: Mar-a-Lago 'most convenient' place to hold VA meeting MORE (Ore.) and Kurt Schrader (Ore.).
On Wednesday, House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), whose committee faces the task of passing the spending bills without an agreed-upon budget number, also called on Boehner to convene a conference.
“The 2013 Appropriations process was completed nearly six months after the beginning of the fiscal year and relied on inadequate and outdated continuing resolutions to fund much of the federal government. We can – and must – do better," she said.
This story was updated at 3:23 p.m.