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National Debt

1,000 Days and Still No Budget from the Senate

  • January 27, 2012

    The President delivered his annual State of the Union address this week, but another annual tradition will soon come and go that Americans may not realize – the passage of a federal budget. It’s been over 1,000 days since the U.S. Senate has passed a budget. While the budget is not a binding resolution, it sets the tone for how our government manages its finances. American families understand that if you don’t have a budget and stick to it, the consequences are overspending and little to no accountability. Unfortunately, we have learned the same rule applies to our government.

    When the Senate last passed a budget, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicted the deficit for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 would be $693 billion. In reality, it was nearly twice as much, totaling $1.3 trillion. The result of not having a budget couldn’t be clearer – overruns (deficit) and increased debt. On April 29, 2009, the date the Senate last passed a budget, the total national debt (including inter-governmental debt) was $11.15 trillion. Today, the total national debt is $15.2 trillion. What does the Leader of the Senate have to say about this?

    “There’s no need to have a Democratic budget in my opinion…it would be foolish for us to do a budget at this stage.” – Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)

    American families don’t consider a budget foolish. What is foolish is trillions of dollars in new debt and no plan from the Senate on how to stave off further reckless spending. Contrast this with the House of Representatives who have passed Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s plan to stop the deficits and enact a plan to pay off this debt of unprecedented proportions. This is not a sustainable path for the future of this country. If regular order won’t guide Senate Democrats towards passing a budget, perhaps election year politics will. CapitolWatch encourages Leader Reid to honor his duty to this nation and begin work on a real path towards fiscal discipline for our country.


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