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A Thousand Days of Failure

Senate Democrats have refused to propose a budget for three years.

by
Roger Morse

Bio

January 24, 2012 - 12:00 am
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This is a failure of leadership.  Former House Democrat Majority Leader Steny Hoyer stated that enacting a budget is “the most basic responsibility of governing.”

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said recently, “There is no excuse. I would have been impeached as governor.”  He went on to ask his Senate colleagues if anyone had a plan.  Sadly, he could not find any senator within the Democrat Party willing to put forth a detailed budget.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) gives a standard answer that Republicans have obstructed the ability of the Senate to act. He apparently is hoping that Americans forget the fact that Democrats had a 60-vote majority until 2011 and could have passed anything over the objections of Senate Republicans.

The Senate Democrats voted against the budget resolutions passed by the House. The Senate Democrats voted against President Obama’s budget. What they have refused to do for 1,000 days is propose any budget of their own.

The real reason for not producing a budget is that the Senate Democrats are terrified of letting the public know what they stand for.  They want to only agree to a compromise that Republicans agree to also.  That way the blame can be shared for the pain that will result from only spending money that we can afford.

Granted, assembling a budget for consideration by the Senate is complex.  Senators created a special standing committee to perform the job.  The Senate Budget Committee spends about $6 million each year in order to get the job done.  The problem is that they have produced no work product in almost 3 years.  Does anyone know why we are paying for this committee to do no work?

Sen. Manchin pointed out that the federal government is currently spending more than $1 trillion more than we are collecting this year in revenues.  Why not start balancing the budget by eliminating the committee that is not doing the job taxpayers are paying for?

If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) refuse to follow the law and produce a budget this year, the least they could do is eliminate the Senate Budget Committee and stop wasting taxpayer money.

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Roger Morse is a fellow with Citizens Against Government Waste.
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