Published Thursday, January 24, 2013
From Special Reports
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that would require both the House and the Senate to pass a budget resolution by April 15.
If no budget resolution is passed by that date, members of Congress will not receive their paychecks. The legislation was proposed by House Republicans in an effort to force Senate Democrats to draft and pass a budget for the first time in nearly four years, according to Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga. Third District.
This legislation will help House Republicans put forth and pass a budget that balances within 10 years, Westmoreland said.
“It’s about time we held Senate Democrats’ feet to the fire,” stated Westmoreland. “American families don’t have a $16 trillion credit card like the federal government, and they know that in order to live within their means, they must set an annual budget. That budget helps to keep down their spending and keep them on track to end the year debt free. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats have refused to pass a budget in almost four years. It’s no wonder our country’s finances are such a mess. H.R. 325 will force Senate Democrats to finally do their job and pass a budget – or lose their paycheck.”
In addition, the legislation included language that would suspend the debt limit until May 19. This would not give the president the authority to spend any more money. Instead, it would allow the Treasury Department to continue to pay bills as they come due. Westmoreland said that unfortunately a majority of House Democrats refused to support the measure, with House Democratic leaders actively working to thwart the passage of the bill.
“Democrats have been complaining for months that we just need to pass something to allow the Treasury Department to continue to borrow money,” said Westmoreland. “Well House Republicans have offered a bill to do just that, but more than half of House Democrats still refused to support it. Why, you may ask? Because it doesn’t give unbridled power to President Obama to raise the debt ceiling whenever he feels like it. Just like the American people, I am sick and tired of Democrats playing politics with our economy and their livelihoods. This is a good, clean bill that promotes strong fiscal responsibility and it’s shameful that House Democrats have become so hyper-partisan, that a majority of them refused to support it. I hope Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid does not make the same mistake and brings this bill to the Senate Floor for a vote immediately.”
The White House has said they will not veto the legislation, according to Westmoreland. But it is unclear as to whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will allow the bill to be brought to the Senate Floor for a clean up or down vote, Westmoreland said.