The Budgetby Senator John Cornyn
Posted on 2013-03-12
CORNYN. Mr. President, I would like to mark this 1,413th day that
the Senate has not had a budget. We will be talking a lot about the
budget this week, as we should, in a debate that has been long overdue.
Since the Budget and Accounting Act was passed in 1921, no President has missed the legal deadline for submitting a budget to Congress. Unfortunately, for the fourth time in 5 years, President Obama will miss that deadline.
Given that our gross national debt is already larger than our entire economy, and given that we are facing more than $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities, one would think the President would make this a priority and he would feel a greater sense of urgency about America's fiscal dilemma.
In fact, not only will President Obama be late with his budget this year, he will not even be submitting it to the House and the Senate until after we have released our own budgets. So the President will not have any input whatsoever by submitting his budget--which he should have done on February 4--he will not have any input whatsoever on the deliberations of the House and Senate as we take up our proposed budgets.
As I say, since the Budget and Accounting Act was passed in 1921, no U.S. President has ever done that. The White House has always gone first. In fact, the President is the leader of our Nation not only as Commander in Chief but also as the one the Constitution looks to in the law to bear the responsibility to make at least an initial budget proposal. The White House has always gone first, providing a blueprint that helped guide negotiations on Capitol Hill, but not under this President.
The budget process is an opportunity for the President to outline his priorities. It is an opportunity for the President to tell the American people what we can afford and how we are going to pay for it. Above all, it is an opportunity for the President to show real leadership on issues of national importance.
As ADM Mike Mullen, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: The greatest national security threat to the United States is our budget. What he meant by that is, unless the Federal Government gets its fiscal house in order, we are not going to be able to afford even the safety net for the most vulnerable of our people, nor are we going to be able to afford the national security that helps keep America strong and America and its allies safe.
Unfortunately, the President has failed to demonstrate the required leadership in this area. He has also ignored the recommendations of his own bipartisan fiscal commission. He submitted two consecutive budget proposals that failed to receive a single vote in this Chamber. His administration has racked up $6 trillion in new debt since he became President, and he created a massive new entitlement funded by a trillion-dollar tax increase--something known as ObamaCare. Now he is refusing to send us a budget until after the Senate and the House vote on their own budget proposals.
If the President really wants to play a constructive role in the budget process, he will send us his proposal right away. Further delays will only complicate and hinder our negotiations.
Mr. President, I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.