THE BLOG
04/06/2011 03:06 pm ET Updated Jun 06, 2011

Bring the Ryan Budget to a Vote

How many times does one need to say it before people who are supposed to have their fingers on the pulse of the country "get it"?

In February 2010, and again in August 2010 I urged both Houses -- when Democrats still controlled them -- to bring the Ryan budget to a vote. There would have been two possible outcomes: either Republicans vote for it and the battle can be joined by pointing to a specific vote by individual members; OR, Republicans vote against it, in which case it is revealed for its lack of seriousness and the entire party is exposed (once again) to be hypocrites.

I also urged the relevant committees to hold hearings. Big hearings. Televised hearings. Letting both policy experts and people from all walks of life who would be impacted by the Ryan budget testify. Build a record.

And, have the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation score it.

Then, bring it to a vote. Today, in part because the Democrats did not bring the Ryan budget to a vote before the midterms, and thus allowed Republicans to speak in vague generalities about cutting the deficit and failed to show what Republicans intended to do to the country, the Democrats control only the Senate -- and that only because Republicans ran some raving loonies in Delaware, Colorado and Nevada.

So, Senate Democrats were given a reprieve. Now, they need to bring the Ryan budget to a vote. Record carefully how each of the Republicans up for re-election in '12 and '14 votes. And then, challenge the House to do the same.

This year, bringing the Ryan budget to a vote also enables the president to get each one of his potential opponents on the record as to how they would have voted on it and, if passed, whether they, as president, would have signed it.

The Democratic campaign committees (DNC, DCCC, DSCC) send a constant barrage of solicitations for money.

But, why should anyone send them money if they do not adopt the simplest, costless strategy to shine klieg lights on why electing Democrats is so important?