Lancaster, SC – July 6, 2010 — South Carolina State Senator and candidate for United States Congress (SC-05) Mick Mulvaney blasted his opponent’s comments today regarding the lack of a federal budget this year. Chairman of the Budget Committee Congressman John Spratt, charged by law to produce a proposed federal budget, was quoted in the Rock Hill Herald this morning as telling a group of Democrats in Fort Mill, S.C., “Don’t worry about the fact we don’t have a budget.” (The Herald, 7/6/10).
Mulvaney said, “The law requires him to pass a budget. The language is very clear: ‘On or before April 15 of each year, the Congress shall complete action on a concurrent resolution on the budget for the fiscal year beginning on October 1 of such year.’ To dismiss that obligation — the most important function the Budget Chairman serves — with ‘don’t worry,’ tells me Mr. Spratt is putting his loyalty to Congressional leadership before his duty to the taxpayers.”
The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (2 USC 601-688), which mandates the passage of the budget resolution, is coincidentally the exact same law that Spratt used to push the controversial health care reform bill through Congress. Mulvaney pointed out the irony: “Spratt has abused the Act when it has suited him, Mrs. Pelosi and President Obama, but has just flat out ignored it when it requires him to do something that will expose the spending and deficits.”
The Congressional Budget Act requires a budget resolution each year that details, among other things, expenditures and projected revenues, the amount of any deficit, and total government debt, all for the current and next four years. Mulvaney added, “There was a time when Mr. Spratt would have been the first person to slam this kind of irresponsible behavior. In fact, four years ago he claimed that ‘If you can’t budget, you can’t govern.’ Apparently Mr. Spratt thinks the rules are different now that he is in charge.”
Mulvaney has called on Mr. Spratt to use his powerful position as Budget Chairman to force a vote on a budget resolution. “He has the power — and the votes — to do it. The least he can do is explain why Congress can’t be honest with us about spending. But ‘don’t worry’ should just make us all worry that much more.”
While Congress has failed to approve a final budget several times, this year will mark the first time that the House Budget Committee has ever failed to meet its obligation under the Congressional Budget Act.