POLITICS
05/02/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

McCain Rumored To Be Working His Own Budget

The buzz on Wednesday morning is that Sen. John McCain will introduce his own, alternative budget, perhaps sometime this week, to serve as a contrast to the one proposed by president Obama.

ABC's The Note posted the chatter on its twitter feed and the Huffington Post has been hearing similar -- though unconfirmed -- talk. Sen. McCain's office did not return a request for comment or confirmation.

Should McCain actually go forward with the plan, it would be a symbolic continuation of the economic debates of the presidential campaign. It would also put him a step further than his own party's leadership in the Senate, which has pledged to simply offer amendments to Obama's budget. House Republicans, after issuing a budget without numbers last week ("Budgetish," as the DNC called it), plans to introduce a more detailed proposal today.

This past Sunday, McCain did tell "Meet the Press'" David Gregory that an alternative budget was in the works. But his proclamation -- "we're working on it, working very hard on it" -- was widely interpreted to be in reference to Senate Republican leadership, which subsequently ruled out a budget of its own.

In retrospect, "we" could have meant: "my staff." After all, McCain's aides have been soliciting ideas for a major economic platform. His chief of staff recently sent an email to an economic adviser from the campaign for help putting together a "ten principles" program, along the lines of Newt Gingrich's Contract With America.

UPDATE: Jonathan Allen, over at CQ, has more detail on the infighting going on between McCain and his Senate Republican colleagues over whether or not to put out an alternative budget.

The DNC, meanwhile, has wasted no time jumping on the friction, with press secretary Hari Sevugan blasting out a sharp quote: "Given Senator McConnell's repeated declarations that Senate Republicans will not be offering a budget alternative and Senator McCain's insistence that they will, it's safe to say that the fundamentals of the Senate GOP Caucus are not strong."