Senate Democrats

Fact Sheet Responding to Republican “No Budget” Claims

Republican Claims That the Senate Has Not Passed a Budget Are WRONG

(Prepared by Majority Staff, Senate Budget Committee)

It is wrong to assert that there is no budget. The Budget Control Act enacted in August contained the budget for this year. It was passed by both the House and Senate, signed by the President, and enacted into law.

The Budget Control Act achieved all of the essential elements of a traditional budget – setting discretionary caps, providing enforcement mechanisms, and creating a process for addressing entitlement spending and revenues.

In many ways, the Budget Control Act was even more extensive than a traditional budget:

  • It has the force of law, unlike a budget resolution that is not signed by the President.
  • It set discretionary caps for 10 years, instead of the one year normally set in a budget resolution.
  • It provided enforcement mechanisms, including a two-year “deemer,” allowing budget points of order to be enforced.
  • And it addressed entitlement spending and revenues by creating the “Super Committee,” which was given explicit authority to reform entitlements and the tax code. The Super Committee process represented an enhanced version of the reconciliation process that can be established under a budget resolution. And it was further backed up with a $1.2 trillion sequester.

Republican rhetoric aside, Congress did pass a budget. The Republican-controlled House passed it; the Democratic Senate passed it; and the President signed it. The Budget Control Act set 10 years of spending caps; it established a two-year “deemer” to enforce spending levels; and it created a reconciliation-like process to consider entitlement and tax reform.

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