A Budget in the Senate

April 4, 2012

In April of 2009, the Senate convened to pass Senate Concurrent Resolution 13 during the 111th Congress. Since then, the Senate, despite budgets being presented by the administration and House Republicans each year, has not passed a budget proposal. Sen. Harry Reid signaled at the beginning of the year that he would not consider a budget for FY 2013 because the agreement reached last summer to raise the debt ceiling precluded budget considerations. But, a ruling from Elizabeth MacDonough of the Parliamentarian has determined that is not the case.

The Parliamentarian, individuals who provide advice on the best practices of the chambers, ruled that that the Senate could consider budget proposals for fiscal year 2013, regardless of the Budget Control Act passed last August. This new ruling opens up the possibility for any Senator to add a budget proposal before the Senate, to the Senate calendar for consideration and possible votes. Currently the Senate has numerous proposals waiting action; the President’s budget proposal, the House Republican budget proposal and more.

With the possibility to bring these proposals to a vote if the Senate Budget Committee is unable to report one, we hope that those in the Senate will seek to end their 3-year streak and pass a budget that addresses the growing federal deficits and national debt. There are no reasons not to anymore.

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