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Just Reminder — It's Been 800 Days Since the Senate Passed a Budget

The House Budget Committee's frustration is starting to show

2:15 PM, Jul 8, 2011 • By KATE HAVARD
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The House Budget Committee on Thursday released a report “demonstrating that economic hardships have been made worse by Washington’s misguided interventions and the lack of a credible plan to lift the crushing debt burden."

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The report, “Debt Overhang and the U.S. Jobs Malaise” comes at a timely moment: it has now been 800 days since the Senate has passed a budget. 

“It’s really incredible” said Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., a member of the House Budget Committee, “Democrats don’t get it. They either have trouble figuring out their priorities or they don’t want to reveal them to the American public.  Instead we just get criticism for our plan, which is the only comprehensive plan out there.”

Young cited the Path to Prosperity, the House Budget Committee’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Resolution, which passed in the House of Representatives back in April.

“Maybe I haven’t been in Washington long enough,” Young said, “but it just makes sense to me that if the other side put out a plan, we could compare them and make our arguments to the people. But it’s hard to see how you come to an agreement when the other side won’t put forth their own views. The President and Democrats in Congress need to articulate to the American people what they stand for rather than perpetuating economic uncertainty by refusing to embrace specific, workable solutions.”

As of yet, no comprehensive budget proposals have been put forth by the Democrat-controlled Senate or by the White House.  As the Congressional Budget Office recently reminded us, the “budget framework” outlined by the President in a speech back on April 13th  is not a “workable” budget.  The CBO can’t score it because they “don’t estimate speeches.” 

“This is what frustrates Americans most about Congress,” said Rep. James Lankford, (R-Ok), who is also a member of the House Budget Committee, “It's frustrating to watch them sit and do nothing...Every couple of weeks there’s a new rumor that the Senate Budget Committee’s got something, that they’re going to do this or that -- but we haven’t seen anything come out of there yet.”

Lankford also noted that a budget isn’t the only thing the taxpayers are waiting on.

“All of America is waiting for Washington to create jobs. But Washington doesn’t typically create jobs, they stand in the way. Our policies can make America business friendly, or not.”

As the House Budget Committees’ report notes, an economy suffering from “debt overhang” is decidedly business unfriendly: “As debt levels continue to rise, businesses will think twice about hiring … because government will tax the returns on these investments at much higher rates.  The result of such economic uncertainty is often a hiring freeze and delayed expansion plans. “

In a statement released along with the report, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said: “[T]he uncontrolled spending and borrowing by Washington in recent years is significantly holding back a robust recovery and sustained job creation. House Republicans have passed a serious budget... Responsible leadership requires tough decisions about our fiscal problems.”

Kate Havard, a student at St. John's College, is an intern at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

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