This probably won't surprise anyone, but we have our first indication that congressional Republicans aren't even going to try to advance Trump's budget proposal for fiscal 2021.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says he can't imagine a scenario in which they negotiate a new budget with House Democrats.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday he does not think the Republican-led Senate can reach a budget agreement with the Democrat-dominated House of Representatives this year.
“I can’t imagine that we could reach an agreement on a budget with this particular House of Representatives,” he said, adding that a spending deal put in place last year would continue to guide the government this year.
McConnell frames this in terms of House Democrats being particularly uncooperative, but the truth is Trump's budget proposal for fiscal 2021 would be a heavy lift to pass even if Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress. There was a time not too long ago when Republicans controlled the entire government and they couldn't pass their grandest plans to dismantle social welfare programs even at that point in time.
McConnell does not want to force vulnerable Republican senators into wedding themselves to Trump's budget by holding a vote on it during an election year; not when it has no realistic chance of actually becoming law.
If Congress does not agree to a new budget, federal spending in fiscal 2021 will likely remain static or slightly increase above current levels. The other possibility is that the can will be kicked down the road from October 1st -- when the next fiscal year begins -- to February after the next session of congress and president takes office.