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It Would Be Unprecedented to Not Even Consider a Budget

For Immediate Release

Over a month after the statutory deadline to complete a budget, neither the House nor Senate Budget Committees have even proposed a fiscal year 2019 budget resolution. The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

Congress has never before failed to at least consider a budget. Yes, budget deadlines have been missed and budget resolutions have failed to pass, but since the modern budget process was established, a budget has always been approved by at least one of the Budget Committees. 

With trillion-dollar deficits around the corner, now is not the time for Congress to make history. To budget is to govern, and it is as important as ever that Congress not fully abdicate its fiscal duty.

The nation’s budgetary challenges are large and the choices are difficult, but ignoring the problem doesn’t make them any easier. On the contrary, every day that passes, they become more difficult. Annual interest payments in just over a decade will hit the trillion-dollar mark. Without a plan to bring revenue and spending in line, debt will reach new records shortly after that.

We strongly encourage Congress to propose, consider, and pass a budget resolution. That budget should set an achievable fiscal goal to put debt on a sustainable path and facilitate achievement of that goal through reconciliation instructions and other changes.

At the same time, the Joint Select Committee on Budget & Appropriations Process Reform should propose reforms going forward to ensure budgets have meaning and are regularly passed by Congress.

Messaging and talking points that don’t add up won’t right our dire fiscal situation. We desperately need a real budget plan that puts the national debt on a sustainable path and strengthens our economy for future generations. That starts with a budget.

See statistics about how often Congress has acted on a budget or met its deadlines HERE.

NOTE: Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget president Maya MacGuineas will testify before the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform on Thursday, May 24 at 10 a.m. More information on her testimony and the hearing can be found HERE.

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For more information contact Patrick Newton, press secretary, at newton@crfb.org.