Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
Nearly three months after their deadline to complete action on a budget, House Republicans have yet to even propose their budget resolution. Instead, the appropriations process is beginning without spending levels, leaving appropriators writing their bills in the dark. Here is a look at the budgeting timeline, according to the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, Section 300 (P.L. 93-344, 2 U.S.C. 631), and how House Republicans are doing so far in the 115th Congress:
Some Republicans have suggested that this delay in the budgeting process is normal because a president’s first year in office always causes delays. But that excuse doesn’t hold water. Here is a look at previous budgets in the President’s first year in office:
House and Senate Republicans don’t know if or when they’ll pass a budget:
Senator Pat Toomey, (R-PA): “I am concerned about not having done a 2018 budget and not having begun the appropriations process.” [Real Clear Politics, 7/11/17]
Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL): “Will we make October deadline? That’d be the goal. Will that happen? Probably not.” [Real Clear Politics, 7/11/17]
Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR): “I’m hopeful that we’ll complete the process because it’s our job, but I also realize that hope is not a method and that we have to find a resolve within our conference.” [Real Clear Politics, 7/11/17]
Even though Republicans have stated in the past that passing a budget is a basic responsibility of governing:
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI): “I feel very strongly about budgeting… I feel very strongly about getting a real, working appropriations process so that that we can reclaim the power of the purse.” [The Hill, 2/11/16]
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI): “The United States Congress has a moral — and legal — obligation to propose and pass budgets that tackle our generation’s greatest challenge.” [Statement, 7/8/11]
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-NC): “The first fundamental responsibility of any elected official is to pass a budget.” [CNS News, 1/23/13]
HHS Secretary and Former Rep. Tom Price (R-GA): “Not doing a budget is not an answer.” [Congressional Record, 6/23/10]
Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX): “They need to produce a budget.” [Congressional Record, 6/30/10]
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC): “We sent you to Congress to lead; so write a budget.”[Congressional Record, 6/9/10]
Republicans’ deep divisions are preventing the House from fulfilling this basic responsibility. As we approach the end of the fiscal year, Republicans should work with Democrats to responsibly fund the government, which we know will require bipartisan support.
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