Trump didn't send Congress a budget even though the law says he has to


Trump fills his day watching Fox News and tweeting instead of working.

Trump ignored Monday's statutory deadline for submitting the White House budget to Congress — even though his private schedule shows he had plenty of free time to work on it.

A 1990 budget law requires the White House to deliver its budget recommendations to Congress no later than the first Monday in February. But the deadline came and went with no budget from the White House, Roll Call reports, and it might not come until sometime in early March — more than a month later than required.

Past administrations have sometimes missed the statutory deadline, Roll Call notes, but those administrations usually have legitimate reasons like a busy workload for the president and his staff.

But on the weekend before the budget was due, Trump played golf with his budget director in Florida — just one of the many times Trump could be found on the golf course rather than working.

A trove of leaked private schedules also shows that Trump consistently spends most of his working day on "executive time," a euphemism for watching television, ranting on Twitter, and calling friends to chat.

Another reason Trump missed the deadline is that many staffers who prepare the budget were furloughed for 35 days because Trump threw a tantrum and shut down the federal government. Trump was upset that Congress refused to fund his unpopular, unnecessary, racist proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but eventually caved to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's demands to reopen the government without getting a single penny for his wall.

While Trump's budget will lay out priorities for the 2020 fiscal year, he is threatening yet another shutdown before 2019 funding is finalized. The current deal to reopen the government ends on Feb. 15.

Trump refuses to take his job seriously on a number of fronts. He's such a bad and capricious boss that prominent members of his administration are constantly either quitting, being fired, or resigning in a cloud of scandal. And when it's time to replace those officials, Trump habitually appoints "acting" heads of departments rather than bothering with the process of appointing permanent Cabinet officials — a tactic even his Republican allies are getting tired of.

Trump also has a long history of pretending the laws don't apply to him.

He bragged that he can get away with serial sexual predation because he's a star. His infamous Trump University faced a slew of lawsuits that eventually settled for $25 million in damages. His namesake foundation was forced to shut down amid investigations of wrongdoing. His inaugural committee is under investigation for possible money laundering. And his own former personal attorney implicated Trump in campaign finance felonies aimed at illegally influencing the 2016 election.

For any other president, missing a legally required budget deadline to go golfing might be a real scandal. For Trump, it's just another day at "work."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.