Republican leaders may skip trying to pass a budget this year, according to POLITICO, which would effectively kill any possibility of repealing Obamacare or revamping entitlement programs this year.
Foregoing a budget this year would limit with GOP leaders could pass because it would preclude them from using the reconciliation tool that allowed them to push a tax bill through the Senate at the end of last year with a simple majority. Getting 60 votes in the Senate for entitlement reform or repealing the ACA would be virtually impossible.
Congressional leaders are already locked in a difficult negotiation on a long-term spending bill that could increase spending by more than $200 billion. Congress also plans to send the president an $80 billion disaster relief package with no offsets, and is discussing the idea of bringing back earmarks – all of which is unfathomable to fiscal conservatives in the House.
“It’s another data point in a long series of unfortunate data points on fiscal discipline,” said Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), who serves on the House Budget Committee. “In the same way a budget is important for determining spending for a family, it’s one of those absolute necessities and basics of financial discipline in government.”