Amid the Syria fracas, budget politics are reportedly “warming up” on the Hill. But is it really just a case of “reheating the leftovers” and hoping someone will still find them appetizing?
From the White House side, the president is still holding out for a deal and is willing to talk. The trouble is, he has been talking with Senate Republicans who cannot make a deal on the budget. For a couple of weeks, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and sometimes Denis McDonough, the White House chief of staff, sat down with a new gang of eight, including people like Sen. Bob Corker and Sen. John McCain who have no jurisdiction to cut a budget deal. Where was Patty Murray, chair of the Senate Budget Committee? Where was Jeff Sessions, ranking member of that committee? Where was Mitch McConnell? (Answer: off fighting a right-wing primary challenger.) Or Barbara Mikulski, Richard Shelby, or even Harry Reid?
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