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Ryan Pokes at Obama Over Anticipated Budget Delay

The deadline has not yet been missed, but Republicans are already jabbing at the White House in anticipation that President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget proposal is likely to be several weeks late.

In a letter Wednesday to the Office of Management and Budget, House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan asked when the spending plan will be released.

“Given the critical importance of addressing our nation’s fiscal problems, I am writing to ask whether the President will submit his budget request this year on or before February 4 as required by law,” the Wisconsin Republican wrote to Acting OMB Director Jeffrey Zients. “If the Administration does not plan to meet the statutory deadline, when do you anticipate the request being made?”

At least partly as a result of uncertainty resulting from fiscal cliff negotiations, the White House is running about five weeks behind on budget preparation. The administration had planned to notify federal agencies of its action on their individual budget requests — a process called passback — by late November. But passback has not yet occurred.

“I bet early March,” said one Senate Democratic appropriations aide, when asked when he thinks the president’s budget will be submitted.

In his letter, Ryan said that during previous administrations “the budget deadline has been met with few exceptions, giving Congress the time to evaluate and address the President’s budget proposals. Unfortunately, a delay in the budget submission of the President’s budget request affects Congress’s ability to carry out its budget duties.”

Obama was late with his first budget submission in 2009, although that is common in a president’s first term. He was on time in 2010, but then submitted his budgets a week late in 2011 and 2012.

Chuck Conlon contributed to this story.

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