January 19, 2012
January 24, 2012, will mark the 1,000 day since Democrats in the Senate last bothered to do their job and pass a budget for our government. While families struggling in the Obama economy must sit down every day and produce a budget for their lives, Senate Democrats have decided it would be a better political move not to produce a budget for the nation. As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said last May, “It would be foolish for us to do a budget at this stage.” Sen. Reid and other Democrats may feel passing a budget now is politically “foolish,” but that sentiment differs dramatically from what Democrats have said in the past:
- President Obama: “I do not want to see Washington politics stand in the way of America’s progress. At a time when you’re struggling to pay your bills and meet your responsibilities, the least we can do is meet our responsibilities to produce a budget. That’s not too much to ask for. That’s what the American people expect of us. That’s what they deserve.” April 6, 2011.
- Sen. Dick Durbin: “The budget resolution is a blueprint. We pass it and then we go to work with the individual parts of it in the appropriations bills... But we have to get this done first because the budget resolution tells us how much we can spend in total.” April 29, 2009.
- Senate Budget Committee Chairmen Kent Conrad: “I say to my colleagues, I believe this budget is part of economic recovery.” April 29, 2009.
- Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse: “The procedures the budget must go through are very complex. The consequences for this body, if the budget should fail, are dire…” April 29, 2009.
While Senate Democrats have delayed and played political games for the past 1,000 days, our nation’s budget problems have only gotten worse:
- When the Senate last passed a budget, CBO predicted the deficit for FY 2011 would be $693 billion. In reality, it was nearly twice as much, totaling $1.3 trillion.
- When the Senate last passed a budget, CBO predicted that the debt held by the public (as opposed to the total national debt which includes inter-governmental holdings) would be $9.34 trillion at the end of 2011. In reality, the current debt held by the public totals $10.49 trillion.
- When the Senate last passed a budget on April 29, 2009, the total national debt (including inter-governmental debt) was $11.15 trillion. Today, the total national debt is $15.2 trillion.
Clearly the Senate’s inaction has had a tangible negative impact on our nation’s fiscal stability. With higher deficits and debt also comes more uncertainty for our nation’s jobs creators. It’s time for Senate Democrats to put the nation ahead of political games by joining House Republicans and passing a budget.
For additional information, contact:
The House Republican Conference Policy Office