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An anniversary you don’t celebrate

1,000 days since Senate majority passed budget

January 24, 2012

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said it has been 1,000 days since the Senate majority passed a budget, leaving taxpayers with little confidence in Congress’ ability to manage tax dollars.

Enzi, a senior member of the Budget Committee and one of the Senate’s two accountants, urged his colleagues in the majority to put aside election-year politics and address the $15 trillion debt by passing a budget that contains serious debt-reducing measures.

“The Senate majority and the Administration suffer from ‘The Emperor Has No Clothes’ Syndrome,” said Enzi. “They know we are spending money we don’t have and yet willingly choose to ignore the obvious: our debt is a crisis. At this point, they seem no more willing to confront someone wearing invisible clothes than they do in passing a budget that addresses the $15 trillion debt we owe to countries like China.”

During the 2011 legislative session, no budget was even debated in the Budget Committee. The United States Senate voted on four separate budget proposals. The House of Representatives passed Rep. Paul Ryan’s Roadmap for America but it failed to get enough votes in the Senate. Republican Senators Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Rand Paul of Kentucky offered their own budgets, both of which were defeated. President Obama’s budget was the only budget proposal to not get a single vote in favor of its passage. 

Enzi said a vote of 97-0 against says how bad the President’s budget was. The President complains about the 60-vote filibusters, but a budget is assured a debate and only takes 51 votes to pass.

“If the Senate Democrats want to be the majority, they have a fundamental responsibility to pass a budget and lead by example. I can only hope this 1,000th day anniversary will lead to thoughtful consideration of strong debt-reduction measures like those laid out by the Simpson-Bowles Commission. Had we acted upon the Commission’s recommendations a year ago, we’d already be on the road to getting our fiscal house in order.”