Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, facing a tough reelection battle in Missouri, claimed this weekend that the Senate passed a budget last August.
It fact the Senate hasn’t passed a budget resolution since April 29, 2009.
McCaskill is referring to the Budget Control Act that raised the debt ceiling hours before the U.S. was set to hit its borrowing limit and also instituted discretionary spending caps.
But earlier this year, the Senate Parliamentarian ruled that the bill did not constitute an actual budget.
A McCaskill spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Republicans were quick to seize on the slip.
“When even Senator McCaskill’s fellow Democrats admit that they haven’t passed a budget in over a 1,000 days you have to wonder how in the world Claire McCaskill possibly says something like this with a straight face,” said NRSC Communications Director Brian Walsh. “She’s the type of shameless politician who will look you in the eye and swear that it’s sunny outside, even as you’re standing in the middle of a rainstorm.”
UPDATE: McCaskill campaign spokeswomanCaitlin Legacki sends along this comment:
“What Claire said remains true. The Budget Control Act set binding spending caps into law for 10 years and, unlike a budget resolution, this bill actually carries the force of law and sets clear spending caps under a budgetary framework agreed upon by both houses of Congress. Anyone who says otherwise is willfully misleading voters.”
CORRECTION: This post has been updated to note that the Senate last passed a “budget resolution” in April 2009. Democrats contend that the BCA exceeds the requirements of a budget resolution — which have been used to pass every budget. Republicans were successful in forcing Senate votes on competing budgets earlier this year as a result of the parliamentarian’s ruling, something that would not have been possible had the BCA been deemed a “budget resolution.” McCaskill’s position is therefore not wrong outright.
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