GOP slams Dems for failure to pass budget
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., drew a direct line between Washington's "out of control spending" and the Democratic Senate's failure to pass a budget for the past four years.
"The only way to...put our country on a sound financial footing is to get spending under control," Thune argued during the weekly Republican address. "And the way to start is by passing a budget."
"I think most American families would agree that having a budget is essential to keeping their spending under control," Thune said. "Yet it's been almost four years since the Democrat-led Senate passed a formal budget. The last time Senate Democrats passed a budget, the iPad didn't even exist!"
Budgets passed by Congress do not allocate spending; instead they act as blueprints for Congress as they work on spending - or appropriations - bills, which have been passed and are the bills that actually fund the government.
Thune argued that, rather than continuing to spend government money to produce growth, "Washington should approve private sector economic projects like the Keystone XL pipeline" to spur job growth and enhance energy independence.
And he reiterated the GOP's call for serious reforms to entitlement programs that "are on an unsustainable path."
"Social Security began running a deficit in 2010, and without meaningful reform, Medicare will be bankrupt by 2024," Thune said. "Despite this dire situation, Democrats have resisted any discussion of reform. But the only way to save our entitlement programs is to reform them. It's as simple as that."
Meanwhile, in his own weekly address, President Obama touted two nominations he announced on Thursday, pitching Mary Jo White as the Securities and Exchange Commissioner and Richard Cordray as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
"We passed tough reforms to protect consumers and our financial system from the kind of abuse that nearly brought our economy to its knees," Mr. Obama said, referring to the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform bill passed in 2010. "But it's not enough to change the law - we also need cops on the beat to enforce the law."
And Mr. Obama argued that White and Cordray are just the cops we need. "Mary Jo White has decades of experience cracking down on white-collar criminals and bringing mobsters and terrorists to justice," he said. "At the SEC, she will complete the task of reforming Wall Street and keep going after irresponsible behavior in the financial industry so that taxpayers don't pay the price."
As for Cordray, who was appointed in 2011 while Congress was in pro-forma session, Mr. Obama argued that his record of protecting "Americans from predatory lenders" and cracking down "on credit card companies that charge hidden fees" has earned Cordray an up or down vote to be able to stay on the job.
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