NO RESOLUTION MEANS NO LIMITS ON SPENDING
June 22, 2010
We are witnessing the last gasps of air from a dying man. I should say we are watching the last few acts of a far-left leaning Congress before they lose control of one, possibly both Houses in the fall.
The Democrats, or should I say, the Secular-Progressive Socialists are ramming through a few more proposals which are meant to push the Obama agenda farther before it grinds to a halt. Among the items will be Cap and Trade, Immigration Reform leading to amenstry and a fast track to citizens for current illegal aliens, and the Value Added Tax.
But the real item on the agenda is a sneaky little thing which will, for the near future at least, allow for the funding of these items and other Obama ditties. This being, no budget resolution for the foreseeable future.
Rep. John Spratt, Jr., D-SC said back in 2006 that "If you can't budget, you can't govern." He made this statement when the House GOP leadership chose to dispense with passing a budget resolution.
Now that the Dems run the House, Spratt is chairman of its Budget Committee and the April 15 deadline for passing a budget resolution is a niggling detail, easily ignored. House Democrats have decided to not even try to pass a budget resolution before this fiscal year expires on Sept. 30 -- and may well delay passage until after the November elections.
As the congressional newspaper The Hill reported Monday, Spratt announced that in lieu of a 2011 budget resolution, the House is likely to pass a "functional equivalent" measure that leaves out inconvenient budget numbers -- most notably an annual operating deficit averaging around $1 trillion over the next five to 10 years.
In April, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had assured reporters that her House would pass a real budget resolution. But the far left wants to spend more, while the center left wants modest cuts in spending -- or at least not to be tied to the far left's bills that further increase the national debt.
When in doubt, the default position in Washington -- for either party -- has been to spend more of other people's money.
The Budget Impoundment and Control Act of 1974 created the April 15 deadline, although it has not been unusual for Capitol Hill to pass said legislation late. Four times since, Congress baldly failed to approve budget resolutions -- all four times, the GOP controlled the House.
Now the Democrats are about to join the rule-flouting club, but with their own unique contribution. Under Pelosi, the House didn't even propose a budget resolution. House Democrats aren't even faking at faking it.
President Obama has said that he wants to reduce discretionary spending. Toward that end, the president named a deficit commission. Earlier this month, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag asked federal agencies not involved in national security to list savings in their shops that could cut spending by 5 percent next year.
But this year, Democrats won't pass a budget resolution -- which means there will be no limit on spending in next year's 12 spending authorization bills. Democratic proposals to cut budgets by 2 percent won't see a floor vote.
As the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget noted last month, "The very reasonable push to reduce some discretionary spending has left the House unable to agree on a plan." In short, D.C. lawmakers cannot curb the growth in government spending to save their own necks.
As the Weekly Standard's Stephen F. Hayes wrote, "(T)hey're deliberately refusing to offer a budget until after the November elections. They're simply choosing to ignore the law."
The House Democrats must figure that they have a better chance of hanging onto their offices by doing nothing -- and they may be right. As Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., told the Los Angeles Times, "Name one person who won or lost an election because they didn't get a budget resolution passed."
Come November, with any luck, voters will be able to name more than one.
We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.