Network Reportial Ignorance, Presidential Press Conference Edition

Jake Tapper, ABC’s White House correspondent, does not understand the Congressional budget process, or, it would seem, how to use Google to find out about it.

Jake Tapper, ABC’s White House Correspondent, repeatedly asked tonight whether President Obama would “sign a budget” that didn’t contain several of his key priorities. Under the Congress’s budget procedures, the budget does not go to the president for his signature. Appropriations bills do, and authorizations, but not the budget.

Now in the old days a network might have had to hire someone who actually knew something to avoid this kind of ignorant error. Now all anyone has to do is to know how to google. In about 2 minutes you would find

The budget resolution is designed to guide Congress in its consideration

of revenue and spending legislation throughout the year. It

is in the form of a concurrent resolution, which is agreed to by both

Houses and thus binding upon them. It is not a public law. The

President is in no way bound by the content of the budget resolution.

Therefore, like all other concurrent resolutions, a budget resolution

is not sent to the President for signature.

Update Tapper would like everyone to know that he was being “imprecise” rather than ignorant. He has posted the following clarification on his blog:

(* One note: I may have been overly colloquial in my question — presidents don’t literally “sign” budget resolutions, which is what Congress is currently debating, though they do sign budget reconciliations. I meant would he be willing to sign off, support, get behind a budget resolution that doesn’t include those provisions since what Congress passes in the form of a resolution will likely say much about the budget reconciliation he ultimately signs. The larger issue of course, is that presidents have to make choices, which is what he seems to be signaling he’s willing to do here.)