No FY 2011 budget this year

Well at least not until after the November 2, 2010 elections. The Democrats don’t want to admit to more borrowed spending which will lead to even more debt. But if the Republicans take over the house, you can bet the Obama administration will try to push all of its agenda through the lame duck Congress.

Appropriations Flow Chart

Here is a chart on the budget process. Click on the thumbnail image to the left for a larger image in a new tab/window. Notice the only hard date is contained at the top of the flowchart – “President submits budget proposal to Congress by 1st Monday in February”. That has to be tough for the President his first year since he is sworn in on January 20th! (Original in PDF)

It is true that Congress often fails to pass a budget by October 1, the start of the fiscal year, but it has not failed to at least have a proposed budget by Oct 1 for 35 years! It fails to pass a budget about every 3 to 4 years and it is usually a midterm election year – like this year. And especially if the out party thinks it will gain control of the House. Thus in 2006, the Democrats dragged their feet so they could write the 2007 budget. The Republicans may be doing the same today. The cautionary note in this case might well be, “Careful what you wish for”.

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