WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer, joined by Budget Committee Ranking Member John Spratt (SC), Blue Dog Coalition Co-Chair Charlie Stenholm (D-TX), and Budget Committee Member Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), today assailed the Republican Congress and Bush Administration for failing to pass a budget for Fiscal Year 2005, a budget enforcement bill, or to produce a budget forecast as called for in U.S. Law:
“This Republican Congress has performed a pretty impressive trick. Even while they are a ‘do-nothing’ Congress that has failed to act on numerous priorities for America, they still manage to set some historic records. Unfortunately, they aren’t records that any one would be proud of or that point towards a brighter future for America. For example, for the first time in modern budget history, Congress will not approve a budget when one party controls both houses of Congress and the White House.
“Republicans also have the dubious distinction of creating a record deficit. Republican policies have turned a $5.6 trillion projected surplus into a record deficit, which could be as great as $4 trillion over the next decade — a $10 trillion swing in the wrong direction. This year’s budget deficit is expected to set yet another record.
“Republicans also executed a rarely seen legislative trick last month. They defeated their own legislation – a budget enforcement package that claimed to rein in their record deficits but even Republicans couldn’t support that charade.
“Today we were expecting to receive an updated forecast of the Republican budget deficit, but not surprisingly the Bush Administration has failed to produce it on time.
“The Bush White House and the Republican Congressional leadership have shown a total lack of leadership from beginning to end on this most basic responsibility of governing. One Congressional leader said that ‘passing a budget is the most fundamental task of a legislative majority. Show me something which more clearly defines that you are in control, that you are leading, that you are governing than making the hard choices and building the coalitions, and rallying support for your budget plan.’
“That is not Steny Hoyer talking…it is none other than former Senate majority leader Trent Lott. Although they control the House, Senate and White House, Republicans have produced no budget, no plan, and no direction for America. Democrats have a plan for America, and we think voters will embrace it come November.”