WASHINGTON, D.C. — At the very least, agreeing on a budget resolution promotes the idea of fiscal responsibility.
“Both the Senate and the House have pretty much given up on doing that. It’s not great. It’s not the ideal situation,” said House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth, a Democrat from Louisville.
But Congress is on track to forgo the process again this year.
It won’t preclude lawmakers from moving forward with spending but in the past the resolution has served as a nonbinding blueprint for how federal dollars should be allocated.
Last year there was too much infighting among House Democrats to agree on a plan.
This year likely won’t be any different.
Yarmuth, Kentucky’s lone Democrat in Washington, says it’s an unfortunate reality that predates his time in the Chairman position.
“We have not had a budget resolution on the floor for several years now. We have not had one passed by both Houses except for a thin reconciliation budget in 10 years,” said Yarmuth.
Last summer, Democrats and Republicans agreed to a spending caps deal that covers 2020 and 2021.
But the Chairman still gets hammered on this issue by some House Republicans.
Even some Blue Dog Democrats are voicing their displeasure.
“Sixty five days. Sixty five days. That’s how many days have passed that we have not did the responsibility of this committee and that is to pass a budget,” said Rep. Jason Smith, a Republican from Missouri, at a June budget committee hearing on poverty.
“When we passed the budget agreement last year in the summer of 2019, we basically set the budgetary numbers for two years. So I’m not sure what we accomplish by putting out a budget resolution,” said Yarmuth.
Yarmuth says the Budget Committee will focus on dealing with what he describes as the Trump administration’s “illegal diversion of funds that thwarts the will of Congress.”
This week the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan watchdog agency, found the Trump administration broke the law by withholding security assistance to Ukraine.