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Budget Resolution on Life Support

Senate passage of a budget resolution may be delayed until after the Memorial Day recess, if it happens at all, according to Budget Chairman Kent Conrad.

The North Dakota Democrat said Tuesday that the budget could be pushed back because the financial reform bill is taking more time and Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants the war supplemental finished before the recess. “That’s a significant development,” Conrad said.

Conrad insisted that the budget could still come up next month, pointing to previous late budgets in previous sessions.

“If you look historically, that would not be the end. We would still have an opportunity,” Conrad said.

But Conrad said he’s not sure they will pass a budget, adding that Senate action would not make sense if the House isn’t able to pass one.

House Democrats haven’t yet thrown in the towel on passing a budget but face a tug of war between moderates demanding steep budget cuts to rein in the deficit and liberals wanting at least modest increases in domestic spending.

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