April 03, 2012

Crapo Calls for Action on Budget

Senate refuses to act for third year; inaction hurts economy

Washington, D.C. - By law, the U.S. Senate is required to report a budget resolution out of committee each year on April 1 and adopt it by April 15.  For the third consecutive year-three years of debt ceiling hikes, three years of record-setting deficits-the Senate has failed to do so, and Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, says this is unacceptable.   

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a budget resolution that cuts government spending, maintains a safety net for those reliant on federal assistance and lifts the crushing burden of debt.  Meanwhile, the Senate has not passed a budget in more than 1000 days.  Last month, before the April 1 statutory deadline, Crapo and every Republican on the Senate Budget Committee wrote a letter to Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, urging him to schedule a public mark-up of the budget.  Crapo noted that Senate Leadership continues to refuse to bring a proposed budget to the Senate floor for open debate. 

"Our nation is facing one of the worst economic crises in our history and the bipartisan political bickering in Washington is at an all-time high," Crapo said.  "Americans are fed up.  I am as well.  Elected representatives are not doing what they were sent to Washington to do.  A responsible budget will put our nation's finances back on the path to paying off our debt and controlling our spending."

Crapo said one reason for the inaction may be that if a budget is brought to the Senate floor, Senators would be forced to cast votes on the president's health law, which will cost $2.6 trillion for ten years of implementation, rather than the originally promised $900 billion.  Obamacare has a higher price tag than budgets for highway and transit, veteran's medical care and training, and education programs combined (see chart). 

"The American people deserve a public mark-up of the budget," Crapo added.  "The House has done their job, the Senate should do theirs, and a budget should at least be proposed.  It only takes 51 votes to pass a budget on the Senate floor.  It is time to take the tough votes, do the hard work and put America back on a reliable path toward fiscal responsibility."