Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) confirmed Thursday that she will seek the chairmanship of the Senate Budget Committee next year but told The Hill that she cannot commit to doing a budget.
This opens up the possibility that Senate Democrats will avoiding passing a budget resolution for the fourth year in a row.
The last time the Senate passed a standalone budget resolution was in 2009.
This past year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said a budget was not necessary because the top-line spending number for appropriations was set in the August 2011 debt-ceiling deal.
Murray said that an agreement to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” the looming $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts set to strike in January, could preclude having to pass a Senate budget next year.
“I am committed to working with our committee and with our Congress to put a budget in place but there are a lot of questions in front of us: What happens in the next two weeks, six weeks, year? Does the White House and the leadership come together on some solution to the budget that we have right now that precludes a budget being written next year?” she said. “I have no idea.”