PRESIDENT OBAMA MISSES THE BUDGET DEADLINE: STEPHEN DINAN
Monday marked the deadline set in law for President Obama to submit a budget, but he missed it — making this the fourth time in his five years in office that he’s failed to submit the blueprint on time.
This year, Mr. Obama blamed the late passage of his tax increase deal early last month.
“Because these issues were not resolved until the American Taxpayer Relief Act was enacted on Jan. 2, 2013, the administration was forced to delay some of its FY 2014 budget preparations, which will in turn delay the budget’s submission to Congress,” acting White House budget director Jeffrey Zients wrote to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan last month.
The Budget Act requires the president to submit his budget on the first Monday of February, and gives Congress until April 15 to pass its own blueprint for taxes and spending, though Capitol Hill is often worse than the White House. The Senate hasn’t even passed a budget since 2009, which means Congress as a whole hasn’t met its deadline in three years.
One problem is that the Budget Act of 1974 doesn’t include any punishments for missing deadlines.
To solve that, Congress last week sent Mr. Obama a bill that required both chambers to pass budgets by April 15 or else lawmakers’ salaries will be withheld until they do. The measure still falls short of existing law because it doesn’t require the House and Senate to agree on final blueprints.
Mr. Obama missed his budget deadline every year but 2010.
By contrast President George W. Bush was late twice. In 2001, he submitted his first budget at the end of February. And in 2006 he submitted his budget on Feb. 8 — a week after the deadline.
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