The Washington Times - March 20, 2013, 11:27AM

Rep. Steve Scalise, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, condemned President Obama Wednesday for making his picks for the NCAA college basketball tournament before releasing his annual budget, calling it a “shocking failure of leadership.”

“American families want to see a budget from the president, not a bracket, and it’s time for president Obama to take his job as the leader of this country seriously,” the Louisiana lawmaker said in a prepared statement.

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“In three states of the president’s Final Four picks, the unemployment rate is higher than the national average, and the president picking their teams in the Final Four is little relief for the millions of middle-class families struggling to find work in the failed Obama economy.”

By law, the president’s budget proposal was due Feb. 4. He has promised to release it early next month.

As for the president’s tournament picks, his Final Four teams are Louisville, Florida, Ohio State and Indiana. Indiana, he says, will beat Louisville in the championship.