Herrity attacks Connolly as Democrats weigh budget decision
House Democratic leaders have yet to decide whether they will try to write and pass a budget this year, but one of Rep. Gerald Connolly's (D-Va.) Republican opponents isn't waiting for a final decision before attempting to use the issue against him on the campaign trail.
In an email sent Friday to supporters of his campaign, Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity (R) made clear the line of attack he would use in the fall if he wins the GOP nomination on June 8 and Democrats decide against introducing a spending blueprint for fiscal 2011.
"As a member of the House Budget Committee, Connolly is responsible for helping to write the budget," Herrity wrote. "But the House may not write a budget this year because Connolly and his mentor House Speaker Nancy Pelosi do not want the American public to know how reckless they are with your money. They prefer to play games."
Wary of forcing vulnerable members like Connolly to vote on a budget that might increase taxes and project massive deficits, Democratic leaders have been mulling whether to simply skip the exercise altogether. The House and Senate are often unable to agree on a budget resolution in election years, but the House has at least passed its own version of the measure every year since 1974. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Thursday he remained "hopeful" that a budget would be forthcoming.
Republicans have pounced on the possibility that Democrats won't write a spending blueprint, using the idea to argue that the majority is fiscally irresponsible and unable to govern. In his email, Herrity included the budget reference after listing a long litany of votes by Connolly for new spending.
Connolly's campaign declined to respond to Herrity's charge. The incumbent's shop has generally preferred not to engage with either Herrity or businessman Keith Fimian while the two Republicans battle it out in the primary. Herrity and Fimian have been engaged in a race to the right, as each has sought to paint the other as less committed to lower taxes and less spending.
Even if Democrats do decide to bring forth a budget, it's not clear that Connolly would vote for it. The Virginia lawmaker told The Hill last month that it would take more than just a spending freeze to secure his support in the Budget Committee. And last December, Connolly defied party leaders by voting against a $150 billion jobs bill because its cost was not offset.
May 7, 2010; 2:47 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Ben Pershing , Gerald E. Connolly , Pat Herrity | Tags: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
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