Friday, May 21, 2010

Democrats Budget: Democrats Ignore Budget in Election Year

The rumors that Congress will not pass a budget are apparently true. The reason, according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) - it's not an easy thing to do in an election year. The lack of action from these duty-abdicators, conveniently prohibits capping discretionary spending for FY2011.

111th Congress - U.S. House of Representatives

Hoyer, who once said the most "basic responsibility of governing is to pass a budget," now says it is too difficult a task for a Democrat Congress to handle, although a Congressional Research Service report says the House has never failed to pass an annual budget resolution since 1974 when the current budget rules were put into place.

According to the Heritage Foundation's Morning Bell, this is "earthshaking news:"
The news came from Rep. Hoyer himself, who said “It’s difficult to pass budgets in election years because they reflect what the [fiscal] status is.” In other words, with November looming on the horizon, the left doesn’t want their constituents to realize just how much Congress is spending and how high taxes will go.
Riedl says the move to ignore the budget resolution "prevents Congress from capping discretionary spending for FY2011...," and the hope is, (you've heard about "hope," haven't you?) when we go to the polls in November, we won't remember Democrat's attempts to "bury this vital issue," and what our badly damaged current long-term budget picture really is.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek says the failure to adopt a budget resolution sends "the worst possible signal:"
Failure to adopt a budget resolution when fiscal resolution is needed most would send the worst possible signal,” said Bob Bixby, head of the Washington-based Concord Coalition. “It would say to investors in Treasury securities, foreign and domestic, that the federal government is still in denial about its fiscal problems and has no plan to address the situation anytime soon.
A senate document titled The Congressional Budget Process - An Explanation, says the budget has two "distinct but equally important purposes:"
The first is to provide a financial measure of federal expenditures, receipts, deficits, and debt levels and their impact on the economy in order to promote economic stability and growth. 
The second is to provide the means for the Federal Government to efficiently collect and allocate resources to meet national objectives.
The same "explanation" says that the Budget Act "requires Congress to annually establish the level of total spending and revenues...." You can read the entire document here. An overview of the House Budget process can be read here.

And here, Rep. Louise Slaughter, the chairman of the House Committee on Rules, says Title III of the Budget Act establishes a statutory timetable for the congressional budget process, and that the Act requires a series of provisions (which does not provide for ignoring a budget ).

Chapter 11 of Title 31 of the United States Code says that our budget is critical to State and local governments for "accurate and timely determination" of the impact on their own budgets.

An interesting aside to note is that in January 2007, the House passed a Resolution abolishing the requirement of disclosure of congressional earmarks and/or the name(s) of the earmark sponsors, and disclosure of limited tax or tariff benefits. See a pie chart of the 2009 Federal Budget here.

Both Republicans and Democrats have failed to pass actual budgets in the past, but budget resolutions have been submitted, even if not passed - but not this year. At the very least, a failed budget gives "the people" an idea of how Congress wants to spend our money. A message to Democrats: we will demand that the sitting majority do its job: we will remember, and we are your worst nightmare.

©2007-2012copyrightMaggie M. Thornton