Tomorrow will be the 1,000th day since Senate Democrats last passed a budget. The Democrats’ fecklessness is not only irresponsible, it violates federal law. But the Democrats don’t care: they simply can’t allow the American people to see, in black and white, their plans for spending and taxes.
Since the Democrats last passed a budget, just three months into the Obama administration, the federal government has spent $9.4 trillion and added $4.1 trillion to the national debt. The current fiscal year will be the fourth in a row in which the Obama administration racks up a $1 trillion-plus deficit.
In other news today, Obama announced that he will not meet the statutory deadline to submit his budget to Congress–again. Of course, no one is holding his breath awaiting the president’s budget proposal. Obama’s last budget was so fiscally irresponsible that it was voted down in the Senate, 97-0. Not a single Democrat supported it.
Democrats like Dick Durbin and Nancy Pelosi have tried to blame their dereliction of duty on the Republicans, claiming that it would be futile to propose a budget since the Republicans would filibuster it. As usual, the Democrats rely on ignorance: under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, budgets pass the Senate by a simple majority and cannot be filibustered.
Jeff Sessions and Paul Ryan released a statement today that said, in part:
Tomorrow will mark a sad milestone in the history of the United States Senate: the 1,000th day since Senate Democrats last offered a budget plan to the American people. Senate Democrats abandoned their official duty to prioritize Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars and tackle our nation’s most pressing economic challenges—dealing a painful blow to fiscal progress that may be felt for some time.
This contrasts sharply with the record of the House Republicans. Last spring, the new House Majority publicly produced a budget plan before the nation, brought it forward in committee, and passed it on the floor. The budget’s principled solutions honestly confront our nation’s most difficult challenges, putting the budget on a path to balance and the country on a path to prosperity.
The President and his party’s leaders have yet to detail a credible budget plan to prevent the fiscal crisis that awaits us should we continue down the current path to debt, doubt, and decline. Such a crisis would threaten the economic security, health security, and retirement security of every American. If the President wishes to begin a genuine dialogue with the American people in tomorrow’s State of the Union address, then he must hold his own party accountable for its dogged refusal to produce a plan to prevent this crisis and lift this cloud of uncertainty from the economy. The President must also deliver what he has so far refused: serious reforms to change our debt course and prevent fiscal disaster.
Of course, the president has no intention of “begin[ning] a genuine dialogue with the American people” tomorrow night; rather, he will demagogue the nation’s fiscal and economic troubles and paper over the failures of his administration and the Senate Democrats. But facts are facts: a party that abdicates one of its most fundamental legal responsibilities, the preparation of a budget, does not deserve to govern.