How did the FY 2022 Congressional Budget process get so far off schedule? [closed]

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The Politicus
Oct 05, 2021 06:47 PM 0 Answers
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  • How has the budget process got so far off-track this year?
  • Who’s really to responsible?
  • What political consequences will they face?

I’ve found some of the story; it appears both in prior legislation and on Congressional committee web sights, but to have budgeting continue into the new fiscal year seems highly irregular, by law. Furthermore, well after the passage of an (already late) concurrent budget resolution, it seems that the Democratic conference has published an unofficial document from Bernie Sanders that starts the whole mess over again. Doesn’t this conflict with already reconciled S. CON. RES. 14?

In this question, I’m talking about the timing, not the speculative budget $, deficit, and debt estimates. Those should be reserved for other questions.

Background

Since the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, there has been a prenegotiated schedule for managing the budget process. I’ve never tracked budget progress carefully, but this is supposed to happen every year, and special rules apply to prevent delays. For reference, the prenegotiated budget program specified by law can be found here:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/2/631
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So, as I read it, all the shouting was supposed to be over in June. Agreed?

2021, while Democrats control both houses, and the White House

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Note: I'm still checking the timeline dates below. Please add a comment if I've got any of them wrong.

August 18, 2021, The 2022 Budget Resolution and Reconciliation: How We Will Build Back Better This web page describes the Highlights of the Build Back Better Plan and include * “Reconciliation Instructions to House Committees* with actual numbers right there in black and white. As a footnote to these numbers, instructions say, “1 The total of Committee instructions does not equal the total cost of the package because the instructions reflect offsets and overlapping jurisdictions.

August 18, 2021,: This is the date according to Govtrack.us.
S.Con.Res. 14: A concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for the fiscal year 2022 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2023 through 2031.

This budget is highly partisan, and of course, Republican voices have spoken out against it. Still, there have been no identifiable delays that Democrats can blame on Republicans, as far as I can tell. For balance, I include a few opposition quotes from their current article:

“LaMalfa Votes Against Socialist Spending Spree”
— Rep. Doug LaMalfa [R-CA1] on Sep 10, 2021

“Rep. Scott DesJarlais Votes No on Fiscally Irresponsible House Agriculture Committee Budget Reconciliation Bill”
— Rep. Scott DesJarlais [R-TN4] on Sep 13, 2021

“Wagner Slams Pelosi-Sanders Budget”
— Rep. Ann Wagner [R-MO2] on August 24, 2021

August 24, 2021, This appears to be the actual date of the agreed budget.

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September 25, 2021, An Inflection Point for America: Budget Reconciliation Moves the Build Back Better Act Forward Debate was limited (not unusual for a budget bill). Still, the house committee wants to play it up as if there were any chance for the Republicans to block it:

The 2022 budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 14) laid the groundwork for the Build Back Better Act by providing the option of using the budget reconciliation process to make historic investments in our communities and country. Without reconciliation, the bold action outlined by the President could languish indefinitely in the Senate, putting the future well-being and prosperity of Americans at risk. This reconciliation bill is the next step toward implementing the plan.

September 25, 2021 Tweet on the Official @POTUS Twitter Feed

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October 5, 2021

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It looks like the Senate Democrats have recently published an undated and conflicting concurrent resolution on the budget, and it hasn’t passed any committee. This resolution is so green and unprofessional it hasn’t even been assigned a "S. Con. Res." style identifier. Find the latest here.:

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