FLASHBACK: Last year, Hoyer cited Fiscal Commission as reason Dems couldn't pass budget 

Democrats and their liberal supporters have been responding to criticisms of their failure to pass a budget last year by saying the reason they couldn't was that Republicans would have blocked anything on the Senate side. But that wasn't the rationale given at the time.

Last June, then House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the decision not to pass a budget in a speech on fiscal responsibility to the liberal think tank The Third Way.

“It isn’t possible to debate and pass a realistic, long-term budget until we’ve considered the bipartisan commission’s deficit-reduction plan, which is expected in December," then Hoyer said in the speech. "I believe that Congress must take up and vote on that plan."

As we now know, the report from Obama's Fiscal Commission ended up being a dud. It never received a vote in Congress and not even President Obama endorsed its recomendations in his own budget.

The Democrats' failure to pass a budget represented the first time that's happened in the House since modern budget rules went into affect in 1974.

At the time of the decision, the Hill also reported that it wasn't Senate Republicans who were holding up the budget, but Democrats' inability to come to an agreement amongst themselves:

For weeks, Democratic leaders have tried to strike a deal on the budget, which is a non-binding resolution, but to no avail.

The talks triggered splits in the Democratic Caucus, alienating conservative Democrats from their liberal colleagues.

Worth keeping this in mind if the government does shut down and Democrats continue to point fingers elsewhere when asked about their failure to pass a budget last year.

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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