House Republicans leaders Tuesday kept up pressure on the White House for failing to produce a budget on time, and vowed to advance a bill requiring a balanced budget from the Obama administration.
GOP officials contended that the president's latest failure to submit a budget by Monday's legal deadline, coupled with nearly four years without a Senate budget, shows the Democratic party is not serious about tackling the nation's fiscal woes. Now, they plan to advance a bill Tuesday afternoon that would require the president to submit a balanced budget, or at least identify at what point in the future his fiscal plan would balance.
GOP leaders described putting forward a budget as a fundamental piece of governing, and a common sense action done by every family and small business.
"Solving America's problems starts with doing what every American family does every month. We've got to do a budget," said Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
The "Require a PLAN Act," sponsored by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), would require the president to submit a budget that balances in 10 years, or at least identifies what point in the future, under the president's plan, the budget would come into balance. In his first term, the president never put forward a budget that would balance.
"This president, it's time for him to step up," said Price.
GOP officials continued to blast the president for missing his statutory budget deadline, which came and went on Monday. The White House has not provided a time frame for when they do plan to produce a budget, and the administration has missed the deadline four times out of five opportunities.
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) used a baseball analogy to attack those missed deadlines, pointing out that the president's "batting average" on timely budgets now stands at .200, the infamous "Mendoza Line."
"It's the line that you watch for a Major League baseball player to become incompetent," he said. "I think the American public expects more."
The lack of a budget is also hurting the nation’s economic recovery, according to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference.
"When Washington is the biggest obstacle to economic growth, we have a problem," she said. "We are not going to have prosperity … until there is a budget in place."
The bill marks the latest in a continued effort from House Republicans to place pressure on Democrats over a budget. As part of a deal to suspend the debt limit until May 19, Republicans pushed a measure that would require both chambers to produce a budget on time in order for lawmakers to continue receiving paychecks on time. The president signed that bill into law Monday.
With GOP leadership hammering Democrats on fiscal issues Tuesday, an upcoming address from Cantor also looks to broaden the GOP message to the American public. When asked about the address, Boehner said it will have vital content not just for voters, but for members of his own party as well.
"If we're going to connect with the American people, it's important that they see we're not only serious about solving the debt problem, but we're serious about solving issues like energy, like education," he said. "I would encourage our members to pay close attention to what Eric has to say."