GOP “no-budget” hoax

If you repeat some hoary old falsehood often enough, people will begin to assume it’s got some accuracy to it, right?

Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor are at it again, complaining that the Senate hasn’t passed a budget.

But that’s false.  In fact, no only did the Senate pass a budget, but so did the House — and then (perhaps stupidly), they made it a law instead of the budget resolution the Congressional Budgeting process calls for.

Then-Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, explained last April how this worked:

We’ve got a budget, by law — and it’s a disaster.

We don’t need a budget resolution nearly so badly as we need some Congressional leadership who understand supply and demand, and who are committed to good government and not the destruction of America (even if unintentional).

Oliphant cartoon on GOP leading nation over fiscal cliff

Cartoon by Pulitzer Prize winner Pat Oliphant, syndicated by Go Comics


Text of Sen. Conrad’s remarks, below the fold.

The Whole Story:  Chairman Conrad’s Response to Republican “No Budget” Claims

April 30, 2012 

The following is a transcript of Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad’s (D-ND) “The Whole Story” video responding to Republican claims that the Senate has not passed a budget:

Hello.  I’m Senator Kent Conrad, Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

You’ve heard the Republicans say the Senate hasn’t passed a budget in more than a thousand days.  They’re not telling you the whole story.

Last year, instead of a budget resolution, Congress passed the Budget Control Act, an actual law.

That law is the budget for this year and next.  The Budget Control Act states clearly that it “shall apply in the same manner as for a concurrent resolution on the budget.”

This new budget law set strict spending limits for the next 10 years, far more than the one year usually set in a budget resolution.  Those spending caps will result in $900 billion in cuts.

The Budget Control Act also created a Special Committee to reform Medicare, Social Security, and the tax system.

But because that Special Committee did not reach agreement on reform proposals, there will be an additional $1.2 trillion of spending cuts, starting in January.  That’s the so-called sequester.

So do the math.  The Budget Control Act brings more than $2 trillion of total spending cuts.  It’s the biggest package of cuts in the history of the United States.  And it’s already the law of the land.

A law is much stronger than any budget resolution.  A budget resolution is purely an internal Congressional document.  It never goes to the President for his signature.  A law, on the other hand as you know, is passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President.  That’s what the Budget Control Act is – it’s a law.

When someone says the Senate hasn’t passed a budget in more than a thousand days, what they’re not telling you is that something else was done. An actual law was passed that is much stronger than any budget resolution.

So, there you have it; the whole story.  Now you are armed with the truth.

Thank you for listening.


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