Gov. John Bel Edwards and House Republicans find themselves yet again in a game of who will blink first as the window narrows to avoid the looming fiscal cliff.
Both sides want more details from the other and have loudly complained in recent days about not getting information they want from the opposing side.
The state faces about a $1 billion budget shortfall when temporary tax measures expire on June 30.
House GOP Caucus Chair Lance Harris, of Alexandria, released a statement Wednesday saying he was "disappointed" in Edwards and House Democrats.
"The taxpayers of the state deserve more than general talking points and vague concepts," he said. "It is shocking to see so many of our Democratic colleagues blindly following the governor without knowing any specifics of his plan, what will be in the bill or what the impact will be to families and businesses.
"Maybe they believe you have to pass the bill to know what's in it," he added, alluding to a 2010 quote from Democrat Nancy Pelosi in Congress that is often mocked by Republicans.
Just a day earlier, House Democratic Caucus Chair Gene Reynolds, of Minden, expressed his disappointment in the GOP leaders, who he said showed up to a meeting this week with no proposals of their own.
"Unfortunately, those leading our Republican colleagues showed up to the meeting empty-handed, without any idea, speculation or estimate as to how many of their own members - a majority in our body - would support the proposals which have now been vetted in the media, the public, a Republican-led study group, as well as the Legislature, for over two years," Reynolds said in a statement Tuesday. "After all, we are left with the same options they have rejected time and time again while also refusing to make the cuts they know will hurt our people, the only alternative to finding real solutions."
Edwards set a Jan. 19 deadline for both sides to come together with a plan so that he can call a special session in February to shore up the state's finances. He now says that's flexible, but there is a natural deadline tied to the start of the regular session on March 12. The governor must give at least a week's notice before a special session can begin.
Lawmakers cannot take up most tax measures during the regular session this year, prompting the need for a session outside of it. But they will still be tasked with crafting an annual state budget to begin July 1.
A still outstanding shortfall would mean cuts to state agencies and services. Edwards will provide an overview on Jan. 19 of his executive budget proposal, which must be balanced to the current projections, so it will show just what those cuts could look like.
Edwards recently released a two-page overview of his revenue-generating proposals, but Harris said Republicans want more details, including how much revenue each proposal would bring in and an analysis of the financial impact of each.
"Hopefully we'll get the details on Jan. 19, like (Edwards) promised," Harris said.
Meanwhile, Reynolds argued the Republicans, who have generally spoke of more cuts to state government, are the ones being skimpy on details.
"We can no longer pretend our Republican colleagues are attempting to do the people’s business when they show up to meetings without having even a simple head-count of the opinions of their own members," he said.
Edwards addressed the stalemate during his monthly radio show on Wednesday.
"At this point, I don't see a lot of reason to be optimistic," he said of ongoing meetings with House leaders.
But he stressed his preference to hold a February special session. Without one, he said he doesn't think that the Legislature will pass a budget, prompting the need for a special session after the regular session ends on June 4 and before the new budget cycle starts July 1.
"There's not a good reason to wait," Edwards said. "The options won't be any different."