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That Pesky Little Thing Called the Budget

It has been 1,297 days since the Democrat-controlled Senate passed a budget.  With the election behind us, will the Senate finally pass a new budget?  The Hill reports that it is highly unlikely.  While this is definitely a disappointment, it doesn’t come as a surprise, since the Senate has failed to pass a budget for the past three years.

So what is their excuse for shirking their legal responsibility this time?

Well, apparently they have to deal with the impending fiscal cliff, a problem they created.   That’s what Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) said.  Murray (D-WA), who is seeking the chairmanship of the Senate Budget Committee next year, is touting the idea that we need a budget that will “allow our country to be prosperous in the future.”  But talk is cheap; it’s decisive action that we have yet to see. 

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) notes, “It is very distressing to me that Sen. Reid, for political reasons, has not allowed Senate Democrats to be on record for anything.”  He went on to point out that the Senate does not need a single Republican vote to pass a budget.

Moreover, a budget resolution cannot be filibustered on the floor and it takes only 51 votes to pass.  The 113th Congress will have 55 Senate Democrats, so one has to wonder why they cannot get a budget passed.

The House passed a budget plan on time in 2012, but no matter how responsible the House is with regard to the budget, they will not be able to accomplish anything in 2013 without the Senate following suit.  And it’s essential that they do.  Heritage’s J.D. Foster explains:

“This may seem like inside-the-ballpark Washington esoterica. But budgeting is fundamental to governance, whether family budgets cramped from low-wage growth and high unemployment, company budgets in the face of a weak economy, state budgets hammered in some cases by years of profligacy now undercut by weak revenues, or a federal government that has apparently turned increasing debt into a favored hobby.”

Heritage president Edwin Feulner also lays out what’s at stake:

“The Senate must pass a budget if we are going to halt Washington’s disastrous habit of overspending, overborrowing and overtaxing our fragile economy. While liberals sit on the sidelines saying “no,” conservatives are offering solutions.”

America is tired of all the excuses.  There is no good excuse for failing to pass a budget.  And there’s definitely no excuse for failing to even try.  If they cannot even do this, how can we believe they will negotiate in good faith on the fiscal cliff?

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