Senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod could not offer a coherent explanation Tuesday as to why Senate Democrats have not passed a budget in almost three years.
Asked by Fox News anchor Bret Baier why Democrats, who control the Senate, have failed even to introduce a budget resolution in more than 1,000 days, Axelrod gave a meandering, evasive response, blaming the “theater of politics” and “dynamics in the Senate.”
BAIER: Why haven’t Senate Democrats passed a budget resolution in 1,040 days?
AXELROD: Well I think you understand the dynamics in the Senate, Bret, and, uh… you know there are lots of things that we haven’t been able to pass, uh… over the course of the last three years, and a lot has to do with procedural…
BAIER: It doesn’t take 60 votes it takes 51.
AXELROD: Understand. But, uh… we’ve got, uh… uh… we’ve got, uh… deep divisions in the Congress, uh… between the House and the Senate, uh… and, uh… that’s complicated our ability to uh… uh… to, uh… to get these things, uh… done. One hope is that when we win this election, uh… that they’ll be a greater spirit of, uh… cooperation moving forward.
BAIER: You know people sit at home and say ‘I have to do a budget. I have to do a budget about my family spending.’ Why can’t Senate Democrats do a budget if they control the Senate and they need 51 votes to put it through?
AXELROD: Because, uh… they, they also don’t have to deal with the theater of politics, uh… in… in making their budgets. We obviously have to budget and we do budget, uh… and, uh… deal with our, uh… budgetary challenges. The president, uh… has cut, uh… domestic spending, uh… uh… discretionary spending by $1.2 trillion, uh… in order to accommodate, uh… the budget and the, the demands of our budget, and we’re going to continue to do the things, uh… to, uh… live within our means while still moving our economy forward.
Democrats currently control 53 seats in the Senate. Last month, White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew wrongfully claimed that Senate Democrats have not passed a budget due to a 60-vote requirement.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has said it would be “foolish” for Democrats to offer a budget resolution.
“There's no need to have a Democratic budget in my opinion,” he told the Los Angeles Times in May 2011. "It would be foolish for us to do a budget at this stage.”