White House press secretary Jay Carney on Tuesday said the president's budget is "expected" to be released the week of April 8, more than two months late.
The president's budget proposal by law is due on the first Monday in February, which fell on Feb. 4 this year. When that came and went, officials pegged its release for mid-March, then March 25 and, most recently, news reports suggested that early April and April 8 were target dates.
There is no penalty for a late release, but traditionally the president's budget is introduced first and lets both Democrats and Republicans in Congress know where the White House stands on spending. White House officials this time around have said that the "fiscal cliff" debacle at the start of the year has impacted the budget's release.
But Republicans suggest the White House's delay is political.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., made that point on the Senate floor Tuesday, stating: “Rather than helping lead Congress toward a reasonable outcome, it appears the president is happy to drop a bomb on the congressional budget process instead by releasing his budget plan after the House and Senate have acted. Presumably so he can campaign against Republicans if the process fails as he hopes."
Carney was asked during Tuesday's briefing if it was "worth" ignoring the release date law to "own" the eventual compromise.
"I think it is worth getting to 'yes' if there are Republicans willing to get to 'yes.' ... I don't think that the timing of the budget is reflective of that goal," Carney said.