Arguing that a new House Budget Committee rule disenfranchises Democrats and Republicans, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky. issued a blistering statement reacting to the $36 billion cuts that chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., submitted into the Congressional Record earlier this week.
From Yarmuth’s office:
“One of the founding principles of our nation is that elected representatives of the people should have a say in the levying and spending of tax dollars. Now, 434 members of Congress and the people they represent have been stripped of that right under this outrageous King-for-a-Day budget rule. Whether it is a Republican calling for spending cuts of more than $100 billion or a Democrat fighting for investments in job creation and small business, the constituents of every member of Congress but one have lost their representation on this critical issue of national concern.”
In years past, a budget resolution was debated by the entire budget committee and amended through the mark-up process before being voted on the house floor.
However, the GOP-controlled House pushed through a rule change that grants Ryan the power to set federal budget spending levels simply by printing them in the Congressional Record, without any deliberations or debate in the House. That means Ryan’s budget proposal sets the amount of federal spending for the House, and where the money is spent will be determined by the appropriations committee for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
Since being appointed to the high ranking panel, Yarmuth has voiced concern about this so-called “king-for-a-day” procedure. Last month, he introduced the “Restoring the Democratic Process Act” to overturn the rule change and return to the normal budget process of the House, which hasn’t made it before the committee yet.