By Susan Crabtree - 05/15/10 10:00 AM EDT
Republicans are continuing to hit House Democrats for failing to
produce a budget, arguing that skipping the yearly fiscal blueprint
would be an unprecedented failure of leadership.
Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.) used the GOP weekly address to slam Democrats for passing expensive bills such as the trillion-dollar stimulus and healthcare measures while failing to pass a budget so far this year.
Lee referred to Congressional Research Service tracking in noting that the House has passed a budget every year since the Budget Act of 1974 was enacted.
“This is a remarkable failure of leadership: according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, not passing a budget resolution would be unprecedented in the modern era,” Lee said.
Families must make tough choices to live within a budget, Lee said, so government should be forced to do the same.
“One Democratic leader in Congress has called the budget ‘the most basic responsibility of governing,’” Lee said. “Another Democratic leader has said, ‘if you can’t budget, you can’t govern.’ But now these same Democrats just want to continue spending money we don’t have, and they want to do it without a budget.”
House Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn BoehnerConservative allies on opposite sides in GOP primary fight Clinton maps out first 100 days The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Ohio) late Thursday said Democrats haven’t offered a budget because they don’t have the votes to pass one.
“The fact is there aren’t enough voting days before the election to do anything,” BoehnerJohn BoehnerConservative allies on opposite sides in GOP primary fight Clinton maps out first 100 days The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE said on Fox News. “So if you are going to have a budget, we need it now so we can begin the real work of getting our arms around the out-of-control spending here in Washington.”
Democratic leaders have yet to make a decision on whether or not to produce a budget. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said she is working with her caucus to write one, but deep divisions between centrist and more liberal Democrats have thwarted efforts so far.
The trillion-dollar stimulus bill was supposed to keep unemployment below 8 percent, but joblessness is now near 10 percent and the national debt has risen by more than $2 trillion since Obama has taken office to a record $12.9 trillion, Lee added.
“In just two more years, according to the President’s own estimates, our national debt will surpass the size of our entire economy,” Lee said. “And unless we change course, our debt will reach levels now being experienced by Greece, whose debt is projected to reach 125 percent of its economy this year.”