The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to fund operations of the federal government through March 2013. The six-month funding extension is a result of inaction from U.S. Senate leadership to pass a budget -- the most basic job Members of Congress are expected to fulfill -- for the third straight year.
Iowa Congressman Tom Latham voted for the funding measure, which spends $26.6 billion less in overall discretionary spending than the current fiscal year. But Latham warned that Americans expect and deserve better from leaders in Washington.
"The responsibility and need for today's measure hangs directly around the necks of Senate leaders who have failed for three years in a row to fulfill their most basic role of passing a budget," said Latham. "For Iowa's families, farmers and small business owners, living within a budget is a fact of life. It's a way of setting priorities and determining what's essential and what isn't. No one who understands the seriousness of our fiscal challenges thinks that budgeting by continuing resolution is a productive or serious approach to reigning in Washington's overspending."
Congressman Latham has exercised his strong fiscal responsibility through his work on the House Appropriations Committee. As chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee, he oversaw the writing and House passage of a bill that reduced spending $3.9 billion below last year's level. This represented the largest spending level decrease among any of the appropriations measures passed by the House this year.
Bringing to light the simple necessity of passing a budget, Congressman Latham also introduced the Do Your Job Act, which strips pay for Members of Congress and committees if Congress fails to adopt a budget resolution for the next fiscal year by May 15, as is already required by law but has no enforcement mechanism.