Bicameral budget battle begins
January 22nd, 2013
10:22 AM ET
2 years ago

Bicameral budget battle begins

(CNN) - Float across the planet in a hot-air balloon 73 times. Climb Mt. Everest 292 times. Fly to the moon and back 179 times.

Those are three things one can do in four years, or as House Speaker John Boehner puts it, the same amount of time that has gone by without the Senate passing a budget.

In a new infographic released Tuesday, the speaker's office tried to put perspective on the lack of Senate action.

"The United States declared war and led the Allies to victory over the Axis powers in less time than it's taken Senate Democrats to pass a budget," the graphic states.

House Republicans are gearing up to vote Wednesday on a short-term extension on raising the debt ceiling, but with a requirement that the Senate pass a budget in the next few months. Otherwise, House GOP leaders have warned, members of Congress will go without pay.

A Boehner aide said the new infographic is the beginning of a major communications push to put Democrats on the "defensive for their complete failure" to do a budget.

Also making the list: The Pentagon–the largest office building in the world–could have been built three times.

"Need a vacation?" the graphic continued. "How about a cross-country trip from Key West, FL to Seattle, WA? You could make the drive 684 times, even if you stop at a few ATMs along the way."

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, however, said a budget plan is in the works but cautioned the Republican may not like it, as the measure will include tax increases.

"We Democrats have always intended to do a budget this year," he said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "We're going to do a budget this year and it's going to have revenues in it. And our Republican colleagues better get used to that fact."

– CNN's Ashley Killough and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.


Filed under: Debt • Deficit • John Boehner • Senate
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. scarf

    Meaningless statistics to give "perspective" to the problem? Why not just state the problem as it is? Or did Boehner not have the height of a stack of dollar bills you could stack in four years available?

    January 22, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    What's the point of the Senate passing a budget when we keep having: Continuing Resolutions; threats of goverment showdowns; and Senate filibusters that prevent budgets from even coming up for a vote.

    January 22, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. Stephen in VA

    Republicans complaining about Democrats in the Senate not passing a budget is kinda like one team not showing up to a softball game and then complaining because the other team didn't play.

    January 22, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. critical thinking

    Budget allow for accountability, the Senate does not want to be accountable, so these two items will not intersect. It will take the american people to relieve those in the senate who choose to not do their job and replace them with people who want to do the job of senator and provide some fiscal responsibility to this country.

    January 22, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    The Dem socialists have no intention of reigning in their spending, so of course, they have no intention of passing a budget. They will demand the same as the past 4 years.........a blank check, and unlimited spending.

    The country will require at least 40 yrs. to recover from the excesses of Obama, assuming a new direction in 2016..........and if we don't take a new direction at that time, the country may NOT survive.

    January 22, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    The real problem lies in the House of Representatives. Even if the Senate passes a budget, Speaker Boehner can't deliver the votes from his own caucus to pass the bill without the help of Democrats.

    January 22, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. Ancient Texan

    Randy- the House passes a budget every year...The Senate uses it to level Harry's desk that has a short leg. The Senate doesn't even call for debate on a bill...just tables it.

    January 22, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. The REAL Truth...

    It's such a shame that against all facts and data, that folks like Ricky McD believe that "the Dem socialists are bankrupting us." Do some basic research before spouting please.

    The current administration has REDUCED the size of govt (280,000 LESS Govt employees over last 4 yrs) and REDUCED the deficit (38% over the last GOP deficit of $1.47 TRILLION). Further analysis indicates that (other than the stimulus) the spending during the last 4 yrs was to account for Bush 43's TWO unfunded wars and Medicate Part D – both pushed down the road by that same administration – and to stem the tide of unemployment, which was losing 700,000 jobs a month in Jan 09.

    January 22, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  9. vic , nashville ,tn

    First house republicans must pass reasonable budget , what ever senate pass will opposed by tea party republicans so no point senate pass a budget

    January 22, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  10. Anthony

    Will House Republicans ever pass a budget that can pass the Senate?

    January 22, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  11. The REAL Truth...

    Perhaps the RW posters here might do what most intelligent folks do when present with a statement such as the Senate not passing a budget in 4 yrs ? Ask WHY? Yes, why haven' they passed a budget?
    It's not due to accountability.. it's very simple. It's because every piece of legislation coming out of the house is filled with pork, anti-abortion and defense spending riders that the GOP knows will not stand a chance in the Dem-led Senate.

    So Anthony's question – "Will House Republicans ever pass a budget that can pass the Senate?" is far more pertinent than the Senate not passing a budget.

    January 22, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  12. Monomachos

    I have read many times in the CNN comments over the past few months that it is the Republicans fault that the Senate has not passed passed a budget in four years. Funny, I thought Harry Reid was the democrat Senate Majority Leader of a democratic majority Senate and somehow the Republicans are to blame?
    The Real Truth about the deficit is that it is actually far greater than the $16 Trillion number most people cite. If the government followed the same accounting rules that it imposes by law on companies, that number would show up as being $60 Trillion. Both parties are to blame; yes part of it is on Bush and now part of it is on Obama but the point is, now it is Obama's turn to take the lead and do something to control and reduce it (spending less while still spending m=far more than the government takes in does not cut it). So far .... nothing.

    January 22, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  13. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Has anyone talked about what it takes to get a budget bill passed in the Senate? Does anyone really look at the compromises to get something the majority in the Senate can vote for and not worry about it getting stuck? The problem with the House budgets is that it can ram through what the GOP wants with little or no input from the Democrats. There is a difference.

    January 22, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  14. Tony

    Rick McDaniel, get this into your head. Democrats cannot spend money that Congress has not approved. Only Congress can cut spending. Even continuing resolutions, which the House did pass, only maintain spending at PREVIOUS LEVEL. When the government runs out of money approved by Congress, whether by budgets or continuing resolutions, it cannot keep on spending. The government shuts down instead. Should we try that again? The last time Republicans tried government shutdowns, in the 1990s, it worked out pretty well for Democrats.

    January 22, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Ancient Texan

    Randy- the House passes a budget every year...The Senate uses it to level Harry's desk that has a short leg. The Senate doesn't even call for debate on a bill...just tables it.
    ------------------–
    Of course. When Democrats controlled the House, Republicans filibustered every budget. Since Republicans have controlled the House, they pass budgets that repeal Health Care and Financial reform. Let's not overlook the fact that the Senate is constitutionally prohibited from originating any revenue related bills, although there are tricks to get around that provision. Senate passes it, then House passes it, and then Senate passes it again.

    January 22, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  16. sonny chapman

    Taxes are Job Killers ! Bill Clinton CREATED 22 Million jobs after a tax increase. George W. LOST millions after a tax decrease. Oh yeah, and guns don't kill people. And how about fighting El Quida in Iraq instead of over here. Say it long enough & loud enough & it might come true!

    January 22, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. sonny chapman

    I forgot one: Reagan proved that Deficits don't matter.

    January 22, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I don't know what republicans consider The Budget Control Act. *crickets*

    January 22, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. Name lynn

    Obama your hair on your head was black until you became the president, then your hair on your head became salt n pepper. Yet we the people is proud of you, we the people are praying for you. Keep up the good work, an we the people know you going to do whats right for the fiscal budget an for the rest to come.

    January 22, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. CBP

    The Republicans have done a good job of derailing any ideas that were put before them unless it is something drafted by the Republicans. Four years ago they met to set up a strategy to keep the President from being elected to a second term. Since this was well-known four years ago why are we just hearing about it now.

    Certainlyy Mitch McConnell made it very clear that he would not support any legislation which MIGHT help the President get re-elected and he bragged about his decision on national TV. He sat on his hands for four years yet he took his paycheck and all the financial assistance he needed to keep his office open. Other Republicans followed his lead. The media knew all about the meeting to adopt this strategy and they chose not to report it. So here we are at the beginning of President Obama's second term and the Republicans are preparing to stonewall once again. They will not pass a budget because they cannot control what is included. They can, however, pass legislation as long as their "pork barrel" items are included. The fiscal cliff legislation is a shining example of how "pork is included." Yesterday they were complaining that the President did not offer them an olive branch. Even if he did they would find a way to turn that into a negative. They invoke the name of Ronald Reagan but they hardly know what he did and did not do.

    With an approval rating of around 18% one would think that the Republicans and some Democrats would want to change their way of doing business. NO such luck! They will hold us hostage unless the mid-term elections go against them. So please do not report what they say. Once they get someone to listen they just change course once again.

    January 22, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  21. Sniffit

    "I don't know what republicans consider The Budget Control Act. *crickets*"

    Indeed. However, it's pretty clear from this article that CNN considers it a fact that is extremely inconvenient to their chosen narrative.

    January 22, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. Robert Jay

    Are there really people out there that thinkits really the Democrats who won't pass a budget – so here is the fact- the Democrats won't pass a Republican budget that favors the rich and hurts the less fortunate – so when the Republicans wake up and change their attitude and selfishness the democrats will gladly pass a budget thats fair!

    January 22, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    CBP

    The Republicans have done a good job of derailing any ideas that were put before them unless it is something drafted by the Republicans. Four years ago they met to set up a strategy to keep the President from being elected to a second term. Since this was well-known four years ago why are we just hearing about it now.
    -----------------------–
    One not so talked about strategy that came out of those meetings came from Frank Luntz. They formed a stratege to "make a liberal govern like a conservative." That dogmatic prime directive has been the overarching purpose behind everything, behind all of the filibusters in the Senate and the tactical legislation coming out of the House.

    January 22, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. just sayin

    democrats and obama have been violating and ignoring laws for 4 years now. meanwhile they want to force their idea of healthcare on the country using taxes as a bludgeon. they just want to be able to spend endless amounts of money and not have to account for it.

    January 22, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Monomachos

    I have read many times in the CNN comments over the past few months that it is the Republicans fault that the Senate has not passed passed a budget in four years. Funny, I thought Harry Reid was the democrat Senate Majority Leader of a democratic majority Senate and somehow the Republicans are to blame?
    The Real Truth about the deficit is that it is actually far greater than the $16 Trillion number most people cite. If the government followed the same accounting rules that it imposes by law on companies, that number would show up as being $60 Trillion. Both parties are to blame; yes part of it is on Bush and now part of it is on Obama but the point is, now it is Obama's turn to take the lead and do something to control and reduce it (spending less while still spending m=far more than the government takes in does not cut it). So far .... nothing.
    ---------------
    You make the same argument that others have made. "Obama needs to lead." Pres. Obama does not have the power to stop Republican filibusters in the Senate. Pres. Obama does not have the power to decide which bills are voted on in the House, nor the decide the content of those bills. Both of those powers currently lie with the House Republicans.

    So, instead of complaining about what he doesn't do, why don't you tell us what he should do. Saying that he should simply "lead" is a silly argument to make, when the opposition has dug themselves into a trench to oppose anything that does originate from their caucus. Republicans won't even return the President's phone calls, or evenshow up for state dinners.

    January 22, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |