As the government enters its sixth month without a spending plan for the 2011 Fiscal Year, Democrat lawmakers are wearing taxpayers’ patience thin on their resolutions of seriousness about federal spending. A look at how they’ve dragged their feet shows why:
October 1, 2010: The beginning of the FY 2011 Fiscal Year. Not a single appropriations bill for the year has been passed, and a budget has not even been proposed. The House and Senate pass Continuing Resolution (CR) #1 a few days earlier, kicking the can down the road on spending decisions for FY 2011.
December 3, 2010: The expiration of CR #1. Congress passes CR #2 before the deadline, extending unsustainable FY 2010 spending levels for another two weeks.
December 8, 2010: Democrats craft a monstrous 400 page CR #3, packaging an FDA bill with a funding measure that would maintain reckless FY 2010 spending levels for the rest of the year, replete with hundreds of wasteful earmarks.
December 18, 2010: Not content with their grab-bag of pork in CR #3, Democrats craft a “Cromnibus” bill, packaging the FY 2011 appropriations bills into a pork-filled spending extravaganza, replete with over 7,000 earmarks. Unable to gain support in his own caucus, Leader Reid fails to even bring the measure to the floor.
December 20, 2010: Congress passes a clean CR #4, extending funding until March 4.
February 19, 2011: The House passes H.R. 1, a CR that would fund the government for the rest of the year and the first ever proposed that cuts spending. The bill would rescind over $60 billion from current spending levels, establishing a prudent budget for the rest of the year.
March 2, 2011: Unable to stomach the reasonable and necessary reforms in H.R. 1, Congress agrees on another stop-gap funding measure, CR #5, which cuts $4 billion from funding for the next two weeks, setting up the deadline for a funding deal for March 18.
March 9, 2011: After refusing to debate the measure previously, Senate Democrats bring H.R. 1 up for a vote alongside their Democrat Alternative, which axes less than $5 billion in outlays. While rejecting H.R. 1, Democrats suffer an embarrassing defeat, with their own measure netting fewer votes than the House-passed spending plan.
After refusing to budget for the year, rebuffing any plan that would actually cut spending and then rejecting their own spending status quo, Democrats clearly cannot be expected to lead this debate. Taxpayers know better: their history proves Democrats are never serious about cutting spending.