The Democratic leadership in Congress has determined that it is too risky in a politically sensitive election year to actually put forth a fiscal year 2011 budget. The truth is obviously very painful.
The President actually did his part in this process by submitting to Congress a record-spending $3.8 trillion budget. His budget estimates a $1.3 trillion deficit as well.
The Congressional Budget Act states that Congress should complete a conference report on the budget by April 15 (ironically tax day). Congress missed that statutory deadline. And in a colloquy on the House floor on May 13, the Majority Leader indicated that there would not be a budget this year.
Personally, I support instituting a budget that would be signed into law. This would then provide statutory limits on spending during the appropriations process. I would hope that this would alleviate some of the tendency to overspend.
I must admit in this discussion that Republicans are not immune from criticism with regard to deficit spending. However, we were removed from power by the voters, in part, due to that overspending. And our deficits pale in comparison to those since we lost control of Congress in the 2006 election.
What Republicans are offering today is a chance for the American people to have a voice in this process. To really listen to what America is trying to tell Washington. To institute a new agenda, new solutions…from the people.
House Republicans, beginning today, have launched a website – America Speaking Out – that gives the American people, the real tax payers, an opportunity to express their ideas. This isn’t Washington saying here’s what’s best; it’s the American people saying here’s what we want.
AmericaSpeakingOut.com will allow a conversation to occur. It is compatible with Twitter and Facebook, thus bringing those existing online forums into this debate about the direction of our nation.
This idea of public input will be criticized by Washington elitists. But the proof will be in the ability of the American people to be heard and by Congress actually voting on their ideas.