Rep. Anne Marie Buerkle (R-NY), who hails from outside Syracuse in upstate New York, has been mightily frustrated with the U.S. Senates lackadaisical approach to passing a budget for the U.S. government.
The House of Representatives passed a budget resolution on April 15, 2011. But the Senate hasnt passed a budget resolution in more than two years, 785 days to be exact. The last time the U.S. Senate passed a budget was on April 29, 2009, due to gridlock. Instead, the government has been funded via continuing resolutions.
The same costume drama is now being played out for the fiscal 2012 budget, too. Even the Libyan government, in the middle of a civil war, passed a budget on June 15, 2011, the Rep. said in a statement. Makes the U.S. start to look like Belgium, which hasn't had a government for over a year.
So the Congresswoman just introduced a bill that would stop federal funding for the House and Senate budget committees as well as for the leadership offices in any year they failed to pass a budget.
The Just Do Your Job Act of 2011 seeks to enact what the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 called for in the event these elected officials fail to act," the Congresswoman says in a statement.
That means the offices of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. would be defunded too. Senator Harry Reid is paid by the American people to follow the law and pass a budget. If he cant do that, he should give those resources back to the people and stop wasting their money, said Rep. Buerkle.
The Congresswoman says her bill has the support of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, (R-Va.), and Paul Ryan, (R-Wis.) chairman of the House Budget Committee
This legislation provides a solution to this dereliction of duty by cutting funding for operations that cannot or refuse to comply with the law," Rep. Buerkle said in a statement. "It is a way to ensure that we are in compliance with the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, and in our responsibility to the American people."
Since April 2009, Congresswoman Buerkle notes, the Senate Budget Committee has spent more than $12 million of taxpayer money and the government has added more than $2.6 trillion to the debt.
The Senates failure to comply with the law and do their job is irresponsible, Rep. Buerkle says. By not presenting any plan to address the out of control debt and deficit the Senate is contributing to the risk of a national financial crisis.
Rep. Buerkle added in a statement: We were sent here to cut wasteful spending. The main purpose of the Budget Committee is to pass a budget. If they cant do their job, that taxpayer money spent on the committee is about as useful as the money we spend to study shrimp on a treadmill.