Washington – Earlier today, House Democrats deemed a non-existent budget as having passed. For the first time since the creation of the Congressional budget process, the U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass a budget, failed to propose a budget, and even evaded a direct vote on a procedural measure that will allow the Appropriations Committee to spend taxpayer dollars for the coming fiscal year. Instead, the House agreed to a rule for an unrelated spending bill, which included the adoption of a “deeming resolution” in place of an actual budget.
In response to the unprecedented failure, House Budget Committee Ranking Member Paul Ryan (WI) issued the following statement:
“Facing a record deficit and a tidal wave of debt, House Democrats decided it was politically inconvenient to put forward a budget and account for their fiscal recklessness. With no priorities and no restraints, the spending, taxing, and borrowing will continue unchecked for the coming fiscal year. The so-called ‘budget enforcement resolution’ enforces no budget, but instead provides a green light for the Appropriators to continue spending, exacerbating our looming fiscal crisis.
“Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office rang the latest fiscal alarm with the release of The Long-Term Budget Outlook. Today, Congress again hit snooze. To avert a fiscal and economic calamity, Washington needs to wake up.”
Key points on the House Democrats’ deeming resolution:
– This is not a budget. The measure fails to meet the most basic, commonly understood objectives of any budget. It does not set congressional priorities; it does not align overall spending, tax, deficit, and debt levels; and it does nothing to address the runaway spending of Federal entitlement programs.
– It is not a ‘congressional budget resolution.’ The measure does not satisfy even the most basic criteria of a budget resolution as set forth in the Congressional Budget Act.
– It creates a deception of spending ‘restraint.’ While claiming restraint in discretionary spending, the resolution increases non-emergency spending by $30 billion over 2010, and includes a number of gimmicks that give a green light to higher spending.
– It continues relying on the flawed and over-sold pay-as-you-go [pay-go] procedure. Pay-go – which Democrats have used mainly to raise taxes, and have ignored when it was inconvenient – does nothing to reduce deficits or restrain spending growth in existing law.
– Outsourcing fiscal responsibilities. The measure is another hand-off by the Democratic Majority of Congress’s power of the purse – this time relying on the Fiscal Commission created by the President to do Congress’s job.
Find a full analysis of the Majority’s Budget Deemer: “An Admission of Fiscal Failure” here.