(TheBlaze/AP) — Senate Democrats intend to approve a budget for the first time in almost four years, a prominent lawmaker said Sunday, but warned that it will call for higher tax revenues that Republicans are sure to oppose.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., also said an announcement by House Republicans that they plan to approve a short-term increase in the nation’s borrowing limit without demanding spending cuts was “positive step.” He added, though, the extension should be longer than the three months they have outlined.
“We don’t want to play fiscal cliff every three months,” Schumer said.
Republicans in recent days have backed away from their insistence that they would not increase the nation’s borrowing limit – known as the debt ceiling – without deep spending concessions. If the new proposal holds, the shift would clear the way for Congress to avoid a potential government default this spring.
But GOP officials insist that they will not move unless Senate Democrats create a budget to prevent the cycle of crises from continuing.
“All of us losing our pay if we don’t pass a budget is the right thing to do,” said Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, vice chair of the Senate Republican Conference.
Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican and a favorite of the tea party, said he supports the strategy from his party’s leaders in the House.
“There is no doubt the Senate hadn’t done its job,” said Cruz, who was elected to his first term in November. “It’s been nearly four years since it’s passed a budget. And the Senate should pass a budget.”
But Senate Republicans will get a budget from the Democrats this year, Schumer said.
“We Democrats have always intended to do a budget this year,” Schumer claimed, reiterating that the Democrats’ budget will raise taxes while offering overhauls to the tax code likely to find Republican support.
“We’re going to do a budget this year and it’s going to have revenues in it. And our Republican colleagues better get used to that fact,” the senator added on NBC’s “Face the Nation.”
The White House, too, said it remained committed to what officials called a “balanced” approach to cutting the nation’s $16.4 trillion nation debt. Asked by ABC’s George Stephanopolous whether Obama “will only sign a budget deal if it includes new revenues,” White House senior adviser David Plouffe agreed.
“Yes, it’s got to be balanced,” said Plouffe, who expects to leave his first-floor West Wing office soon. “We need spending cuts, entitlement reform and revenue. We have to have that.”
Watch Cruz and Schumer spar over the issue on “Face the Nation,” below:
House Republican leaders added a caveat on to the extension Friday designed to prod Senate Democrats into passing a budget: no pay for lawmakers if there again is no budget passed this year. House Republicans have passed budgets for two consecutive years; the Democratic-controlled Senate last passed a complete budget in 2009.