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White House budget coming April 10, two months late

(CNN) — The White House will release its budget for the 2014 fiscal year on April 10th, Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest announced at Thursday’s White House briefing, more than two months after the February deadline.

Previously White House officials would only say the budget was coming the week of April 8, without revealing a specific date. Republicans were sharply critical of the delay, which came after protracted negotiations over spending cuts and tax rates.

When Obama unveiled his brackets for this year’s NCAA college basketball tournament, Republican leaders in the House seized the opportunity to highlight the delay in releasing his budget.

“Clutch with his brackets. Late with his budgets,” a video produced by the House GOP conference proclaimed.

And Rep. John Boehner, the House speaker, devised a “top ten” list of reasons Obama was late delivering his budget plan. Among the items Boehner suggested was vacation planning and trying to charm Republicans by taking them to dinner.

In early March, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney explained the delay was a result of “the series of crises, largely manufactured, that we and Congress have been having to deal with over the past several months.”

April 10, the date of the budget release, also happens to be the day Obama will dine with a group of Republican senators. It will be a different group than the lawmakers he had dinner with earlier this month.

Last week, the Democrat-controlled Senate passed its first formal budget proposal in four years. The non-binding plan, which calls for a trillion dollars in tax increases, passed 50 to 49. No Republicans voted for the bill, and four Democrats voted against it.

The GOP-controlled House is expected to shoot the Senate budget down, just as Democrats in the Senate voted down a budget proposal passed by Republicans in the House earlier this month.

The two budget proposals, along with the president’s, will likely be used as a basis for future negotiations between the parties.

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