Breaking with a 41-year-old tradition, the Republican chairmen of the House and Senate budget committees announced that they would not even give the president's budget director, Shaun Donovan, the usual hearings in their panels this week. G. William Hoagland, who was the Republican staff director at the Senate Budget Committee for much of the 1980s and 1990s, and is senior vice president of the Bipartisan Policy Center, said he could not recall a year since the modern budget process took effect in the 1970s when a president's budget director was not invited to testify before the budget committees.
"I guess the future is pretty dim if you have Republicans in Congress unwilling to even talk about the budget with the White House. We do see that Republicans are pretty eager to leap to the defense of the oil industry, but they aren't really willing to have a serious, detailed conversation about our country's budget priorities. "It says a lot of things, I think. It certainly does raise some questions about how serious Republicans actually are about governing the country. It also raises some questions about how confident they are in the kinds of arguments that they could make about the budget. Maybe they're taking the Donald Trump approach to debates about the budget -- they're just not going to show up."