Democrats Try To Shift Budget Onus To GOP

After several years of complaining that Congress didn't have a budget, Republicans are now the ones holding up the 2014 budget process.

Both the GOP-led House and Democrat-controlled Senate have passed plans, but House Speaker John A. Boehner seems in no hurry to create the official conference committee that would hammer out differences.

Democrats, tired of taking fire for their budget record, are on the offensive, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid trying to jump-start final budget negotiations Tuesday. He took to the Senate floor and made a motion to formally set up the Senate budget negotiating team, but the GOP blocked it.

But top Republicans in both chambers said they wanted to hold informal talks first to see what kind of final budget deal is possible.

GOP strategist Ford O'Connell said the path to a so-called grand bargain is narrow, but possible, and Mr. Obama got a discussion started with a plan to reduce entitlement spending by $800 billion over 10 years.

"But he is fooling himself if he thinks that will get Republicans to raise more revenues," Mr. O'Connell said. "If the president can get Democrats to get more serious about entitlement reform — which doesn't seem likely right now — then I think you will see Republicans put revenue on the table and a deal will get done. But until then, we will continue to careen from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis."

Read more from David Sherfinski at The Washington Times

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