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Biden’s budge to be late; presidents often miss deadline

Jan. 31, 2023 Updated Tue., Jan. 31, 2023 at 8:16 p.m.

President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., at the White House on Wednesday.  (Tribune News Service)
President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., at the White House on Wednesday. (Tribune News Service)
By Paul M. Krawzak</p><p>and Peter Cohn CQ-Roll Call CQ-Roll Call

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration will send its budget for the next fiscal year up to Capitol Hill on March 9, according to a memo from top White House aides.

That’s about a month later than the statutory deadline, which is the first Monday in February, though that target is often missed and there’s no penalty for doing so.

National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young laid out the timing in a memo to “interested parties” that also discussed agenda topics for Wednesday’s scheduled meeting between President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

The memo, first reported by ABC News, said Biden will ask McCarthy to “commit to the bedrock principle that the United States will never default on its financial obligations,” a reference to the upcoming fight over the statutory debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen has warned that the U.S. could be in danger of missed payments by early June if Congress doesn’t act to raise or suspend the $31.4 trillion debt limit.

The memo also says Biden will urge McCarthy and House Republicans to release their own fiscal 2024 budget blueprint that spells out the spending cuts they want to attach to any debt limit deal and how their budget will balance if they plan to extend expiring tax cuts.

The White House typically delivers its budget after the State of the Union address, which in this case is scheduled for Tuesday. The $1.7 trillion fiscal 2023 omnibus spending package didn’t clear until Dec. 23, giving the administration less time to assess agencies’ needs for the new fiscal year starting Oct. 1 and provide updated comparisons to current spending.

Republicans have already been taking aim at the White House for missing the budget deadline, including in a letter Monday from House GOP conservatives led by Republican Study Committee Chairman Kevin Hern of Oklahoma and Ben Cline of Virginia, who leads the group’s budget and spending task force.

Presidents of both parties have missed the deadline, particularly in the first year of a new administration. Former President Donald Trump, a Republican, submitted his budgets late in two out of his four years in office. Democrat Barack Obama’s fiscal 2015 budget was a month late, and his fiscal 2014 budget was two months late, according to data compiled by the Congressional Research Service.

The delay means the fiscal 2024 budget appropriations process will get off to a bit of a later start. The first step is usually a hearing with the OMB director, followed by agency heads making their trips up to Capitol Hill to defend their proposals before various panels.

The Senate Budget Committee is tentatively planning to hold a hearing on the Biden budget the week of March 13, a person familiar with the discussions said.

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