The last time the United States Senate adopted a budget resolution was April 29th, 2009. Every year, federal law requires the Senate to present a budget in the Budget Committee for adoption, and to then bring that budget to the Senate floor for open and public amendment, debate, and eventual adoption. Yet, in a time of record deficits, weak economic growth, and an historic surge in federal welfare, it has now been more than three and half years since the Senate’s Democrat majority has put forward a budget. In that time, the government has spent $12.1 trillion and added an additional $5 trillion to the gross federal debt.
This is not just a case of failing to pass a budget, but refusing to pass one as a matter of choice. Senator Reid’s majority refused to even write a budget, shielding his members from the public accountability that comes with the duty of governing. Thus, in 2011 and in 2012, the mandated Budget Committee mark-ups to work on a budget were cancelled by the Senate Majority—in violation of federal law—and no plan was ever presented to the American people by the party controlling the Senate chamber.
Chairman Conrad had publicly committed to conduct this mark-up and to bring forward what would have Democrats’ first budget plan since 2009. But, at the last minute and under pressure from his party, he cancelled the meeting and Democrats once again did not have a financial plan for the future of America. At the time, Senator Sessions issued a statement which said in part: “Chairman Conrad’s stunning announcement, forced on him by his party, is a defining moment in 2012 and a national embarrassment for a Senate majority that is unable to meet the great challenge of our time.” Politico later reported, “Democratic leaders have defiantly refused to lay out their own vision for how to deal with federal debt and spending.”
You can see video of Senate Budget Committee Republicans objecting to the mark-up cancellation here. Not one Democrat on the Committee stood up to criticize Reid or Conrad for the decision to once again purposefully and willfully defy budget law. A timeline of Senate Democrats’ refusal to offer up a budget plan to the American people can be seen here.
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