Morning Bell: Congress’ Historic Decision to Ignore Its Basic Duty

Mike Brownfield /

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) once said that the “most basic responsibility of governing is to pass a budget.” Yesterday it became clear that Congress has decided to shirk that responsibility, as word broke that the House likely will not pass a budget resolution for the first time since the modern budget process was created in 1974.

That’s earthshaking news, especially given the ballooning federal spending, which soared to an $82.69 billion deficit in April, a projected $1.5 trillion deficit in 2010, and even more deficits as far as the eye can see. Like any American’s household budget that tracks income and expenses, budget resolutions set a framework for Congress’ taxing and spending. But it’s a framework that the leadership in the House would rather do without.

The news came from Rep. Hoyer himself, who said “It’s difficult to pass budgets in election years because they reflect what the [fiscal] status is.” In other words, with November looming on the horizon, the left doesn’t want their constituents to realize just how much Congress is spending and how high taxes will go.