The Washington Post has a story tonight on the Obama administration’s announcement that the president won’t submit a budget to Congress on time early next year – and Louisiana’s senior senator Mary Landrieu is being blamed.
Landrieu put a hold on White House Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew in October, as a response to Obama’s placing a moratorium on offshore drilling in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The moratorium has cost an estimated 20,000 jobs in Louisiana, with perhaps more to come as offshore drilling permits have been nearly impossible to come by since the moratorium’s purported end – an end which, when it was announced by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, ultimately led to Landrieu’s releasing her hold despite persistent questions about the White House’s commitment to domestic oil and gas production.
It matters little when Obama puts his budget forth, though. The new Republican majority in the House of Representatives has undoubtedly very different ideas than the President not just on the levels of spending in Washington or the nation’s spending priorities, but on the very nature of the budget and appropriations process. In fact, given the certainty of Obama’s irrelevance to the budget process and the “dead-on-arrival” status the document will likely have when it reaches the House it’s somewhat interesting that the administration even bothered to give reasons for the lateness of its submittal.
One could be forgiven for speculating that the announcement today of the late submission and the mentioning of Landrieu’s hold as a reason is a petty dig at the Senator by the White House. Given the uncivil statements about Landrieu – the president’s press secretary Robert Gibbs implied she was “sad and outrageous” for placing the hold – one more shot across Landrieu’s bow wouldn’t be a surprise.