Senate Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Friday that the failure of the Senate to pass a budget resolution in more than three years represents a moral failure, given the record level of deficits and debt.
"Never before has our nation needed a budget and a long-term financial plan as badly as it needs one now," the two GOP budget leaders said in a joint statement. "The Congressional Budget Office stated this week that the federal government is on track to run another trillion-dollar deficit this year and our debt will continue to explode with this continued lack of leadership.
"In addition to huge deficits, we face a $4 trillion tax increase at the end of this year and a sequester that Defense Secretary [Leon] Panetta said will 'do catastrophic damage to the military.' Responsible and moral leadership requires the Senate to meet its legal obligation to pass a budget and to begin to address the fiscal crisis that is fast approaching our nation."
"Tomorrow marks another disappointing record for the United States Senate: Senate Majority Leader [Harry] Reid [Nev.] and his Democrat Conference will have gone an unprecedented 1,200 days without adopting a budget plan as required by law," they said. "Not only have they failed to adopt a budget but, with America under threat of financial calamity, they have refused to even present a plan for public scrutiny."
Democrats have said last year's debt-ceiling agreement that capped discretionary spending for the next decade is just as good as a budget. But Sessions and Ryan noted that Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) tried to move a budget plan this year, and was "shut down" by Reid. They also noted that Reid said in 2011 that it would be "foolish" to present a budget.
"He refuses to disclose who he plans to tax and how he plans to spend taxpayers' money," they said of Reid.