by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
After Democrats took control of the House with many candidates stressing the importance of passing a budget, party leadership has punted the idea of passing a budget due to internal divides over spending priorities and taxes.
It had become increasingly clear that House Democrats would be unable to agree on a budget blueprint that could pass a floor vote, with more liberal lawmakers demanding cuts to defense spending, an embrace of expensive liberal policies, and tax increases to pay for them. Leadership officially abandoned any prospect of getting a deal done on Monday, according to Bloomberg.
The failure is a blow to Democratic lawmakers in swing districts who bashed Republicans for failing to get a budget passed in recent years. Many of the freshman lawmakers, such as Rep. Cindy Axne (D., Iowa), cosponsored a bill that would raise the stakes for failing to come together on a budget.
“Our legislation says if lawmakers can’t agree on a budget, lawmakers don’t get paid,” Axne said of her Shutdown to End All Shutdowns Act. “It’s time to stop punishing everyday Iowans for Washington dysfunction.”
Axne’s legislation was introduced with Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D., Iowa), another freshman lawmaker in a toss up district. Both have also signed on to the No Budget, No Recess Act, which would block members from leaving town without passing a budget.