The Washington Times - January 23, 2012, 03:06PM

The White House told Congress on Monday that its budget will be late this year, meaning President Obama once again will miss the deadline set in law.

Congressional officials said the president now will send up his budget on Feb. 13, which is a week later than the usual date. The law requires the budget be sent by the first Monday in February.

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Late budgets are common in the first year of a presidency, but this move, in Mr. Obama’s fourth year, drew fire from Congress. Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, called it an “abdication of leadership.” Mr. Obama missed the mark in 2009 and 2011, though he was on time with his 2010 budget.

“This will mark the third time in four years the president has missed his statutory requirement to present a budget on time, while trillion-dollar budget deficits continue to mount,” Mr. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, said.

Tuesday, when Mr. Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, also marks the 1,000th day since Congress passed a budget.

House Republicans last year powered a budget through their chamber, but Senate Democrats never put one on their chamber’s floor. The last budget that passed was in 2009, which set the stage for the health care bill’s passage in early 2010.

And a budget may not pass this year either. Overall spending levels for 2011 and 2012 already were set in the debt deal Mr. Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, agreed to last summer, meaning the toughest job of setting an overall discretionary spending ceiling already has been done.

The budget is the blueprint that governs the dozen annual spending bills Congress is supposed to pass to fund the basic operations of government.

“In this, the final year of his term, one would think he would be ready and eager to lay out his detailed plan for our nation’s financial future,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.