ne consequence of the Senate’s irresponsible delay in confirming Jacob Lew as director of the Office of Management and Budget is that Congress will have less time to finish its work on the budget next year. This week, the White House announced that the president’s budget won’t be sent to Capitol Hill until mid-February, a week later than usual.
It probably won’t make much difference. For decades, the president’s budget has been dead on arrival in Congress. This wasn’t always the case. Before creation of the Congressional Budget Office in 1974, the White House had a virtual monopoly on budget numbers. Congress, therefore, had little choice but to work from the president’s baseline and accept his underlying assumptions, which meant that appropriations bills tended to adhere closely to presidential priorities.