The Obama Administration is on track to beat former President Bill Clinton for second-longest delay in submitting a presidential budget on time.
First place for the latest budget in history? That also goes to President Obama. In 2009, he did not submit a budget until 98 days after the statutory deadline.
Though the White House has not yet confirmed them, news reports are suggesting that April 8 is likely the date that Americans will finally see a budget from Obama.
By law, the President’s budget must be submitted on the first Monday in February—February 4 this year—a date the Obama Administration sailed past. Previously, Congress anticipated receiving the budget on March 25. Now, the early April date means the delay will pass the two-month mark.
“[R]esponsible spending cuts are needed ‘to help put the country on a path to a balanced budget within ten years,’” House Speaker John Boehner (R–OH) said in a statement on the unemployment report released today. “And yet there’s news today that the president’s budget, which is already more than a month late, might slip to April.”
The President should remember that he is required by law to submit a budget, because budgeting is truly governing, and governing requires both leadership and responsibility. As Heritage Foundation budget expert Patrick Louis Knudsen writes:
The government’s fiscal problems are real and getting worse. It will take serious, substantial, and sustained spending restraint to correct its disastrous fiscal course. That, in turn, depends on restoring consistent, regular budgeting practices. The more the President ignores something as straightforward as budget deadlines set in law, the further out of control budgeting becomes, and the more difficult it becomes to reform unsustainable entitlements, restrain spending, and reduce the deficit.
President Obama should use his role in the budgeting process to lead America back toward a budget that balances in 10 years. At the very least, he should follow the letter of the law.