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Public Statements

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget, Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CORNYN. Madam President, there has been a complete abdication of fiscal responsibility in Congress, particularly in the Senate, for the last 4 years, in that there has been no budget passed in this Senate for that period of time. What better manifestation, what uglier manifestation of that fiscal irresponsibility than the $16.5 trillion in debt.

Another symptom of that problem is the fact that in addition to the Senate not passing a budget for the last 4 years, in 4 out of the last 5 years, the President of the United States has missed the statutory deadline on submitting his proposed budget to the Senate for consideration and to the Congress.

Really, when we are talking about budgeting, the House is going to pass a budget that limits the rate of growth of Federal spending from 5.4 percent to 3.4 percent. It limits the rate of growth. Now, most of America would not call that a cut. But for some reason that is called a cut in Washington. What I would call that is a limitation on the rate of growth of Federal spending.

It is important we get the President's proposed budget, as required by the law. The law requires the President to send his proposed budget to the Congress by the first Monday in February. He has not done so, and we have been advised that we probably will not even see the President's proposed budget until our work here is done. I do not know what the President could do that would render himself any more irrelevant to this important process than not contribute his proposed budget on a timely basis, as required by the law.

Because the President has not complied with the law, I am going to offer an amendment to this budget resolution called the No Budget No OMB Pay Act of 2013. OMB, of course, stands for the Office of Management and Budget, the executive branch agency responsible for preparing the President's proposed budget.

The No Budget No OMB Pay Act would prohibit paying the salaries of the Office of Management and Budget Director, the Deputy Director, and the Deputy Director for Management for any period of time that the President is late in meeting the statutory requirement to submit his budget, as I said, by the first Monday in February.

I have also filed an amendment to the budget that would allow the Senate to express its support for this legislation.

It is certainly progress that now, after 4 years, Senator Reid has seen fit to bring a budget to the floor. That is his prerogative as the majority leader, something we in the minority have no authority to do. But it represents progress--some small progress--that Senator Reid has finally decided to bring a budget to the floor and that the Senate is now able to amend and debate that budget resolution.

As you have heard, the proposed budget that has come from the Budget Committee, Senator Murray's budget, raises taxes by $1.5 trillion and increases spending by 62 percent. What is worse, it actually fails to balance within 10 years, which is the budget window.

Equally as unfortunate, for the first time in recent memory, is that the Congress is acting before receiving the President's proposed budget. According to the National Journal, this marks an unprecedented break of 92 years of tradition in having the President make the first move in the budget process.

This is called leadership.

Current law requires the President to send his budget by the first Monday of February, which I have said. President Obama has ignored this requirement. He has missed the deadline 4 out of 5 years he has been President of the United States. This year he was required to issue the budget proposal on February 4, but he missed the deadline once again. While the Senate is acting this week, it has been 45 days since the President has failed to live up to the legal commitment for the President to submit his proposed budget. We all know nowhere else in America, whether in private life, private business, or in local or State government, can you fail to do your job and still be paid--only here in Washington, DC.

We know it is important the President and the executive branch live up to their responsibilities, just as it is important we do so ourselves. If the Office of Management and Budget does not do its job and produce a budget, its top official should not be paid.

Based on legislation we have already passed, both the legislative branch and now, if my budget amendment passes and if Congress embraces this requirement, both executive and legislative branches share responsibility when it comes to the budget. Without us doing our jobs and the President doing his job, spending will remain out of control. We all deserve better and the American people deserve better. They deserve the accountability which comes from the President fulfilling his legal responsibilities under the law of the land.

I yield the floor.

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