To mark the 1,200th day since the Democratic-controlled Senate last adopted a proper budget, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions of Alabama issued a joint statement slamming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for his actions in preventing a budget from being adopted.
“Senate Majority Leader Reid and his Democrat conference will have gone an unprecedented 1,200 days without adopting a budget plan as required by law,” the statement reads. “Not only have they failed to adopt a budget, but with America under threat of financial calamity, they have refused to even present a plan for public scrutiny.”
Ryan, incidentally, is set to be named the running mate for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Senate Democrats last passed a budget on April 9, 2009. Reid and Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer have both said, however, that it’s unnecessary to pass a budget because of the Budget and Control Act (BCA), the debt ceiling and spending deal passed by Congress last August.
“We do not need to bring a budget to the floor this year — it’s done, we don’t need to do it,” Reid told reporters in February.
“We passed it on Aug. 2,” Schumer said, referring to the BCA.
“They’re attacking us because they have nothing better to do,” Reid added. “They need something else to talk about.”
The BCA put spending caps on discretionary programs to reduce their funding by $1 trillion over ten years and has $1.2 trillion sequestered cuts over the next decade because of the failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to reach a compromise on where to cut spending.
“The Senate Majority did not offer up a single plan or even cast a vote in support of a single plan,” Ryan and Sessions said. “By contrast, House Republicans laid out and adopted a credible, responsible plan that avoids this looming debt crisis with spending cuts and pro-growth tax reform while preserving the safety net.”
House Republicans passed Ryan’s budget blueprint back in March of this year. It passed with no Democratic support, and 10 Republicans opposed it.
The statement warns that failure to pass a budget as budget deficits and debt will continue to grow significantly if spending stays on track.
“Never before has our nation needed a budget and a long-term financial plan as badly as it needs one now,” the statement said. “The Congressional Budget Office stated this week that the federal government is on track to run another trillion-dollar deficit this year and our debt will continue to explode with this continued lack of leadership.”
“Responsible and moral leadership requires the Senate to meet its legal obligation to pass a budget and to begin to address the fiscal crisis that is fast approaching our nation,” Ryan and Sessions concluded.
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