POLITICS

House votes to require plan for balanced budget

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Photo - WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 26:  House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA). (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 26: House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA). (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

The House voted Wednesday to require President Obama to provide a plan for a budget that balances, at least eventually.

The Require a PLAN Act would mandate that if the president’s budget does not balance, he must produce a supplement by April 1, 2013 identifying when the budget will balance, as well as steps to achieve that target.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., passed 253 – 167. It is expected to face opposition in the Senate, which has not produced a budget in over three years.

“Today we are moving this debate forward in a positive manner by introducing the Require a PLAN Act which will force President Obama to produce a plan to balance the nation’s budget,” Price said when he introduced the bill. “It is unfortunate that it must come to this — that we must mandate the Senate and White House to perform their most basic duties in the stewardship entrusted to them by the American people. Still, we will continue to pressure the Senate and the White House to thoughtfully examine and solve the enormous fiscal challenges facing our nation – not ignore them – so that we may protect the American Dream for generations to come.”

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, House Financial Services Committee chairman, applauded the bill’s passage on Wednesday.

“If the Democrats who control Washington can’t be counted on to do the job the American people elected them to do and pass a budget on their own, House Republicans will do everything in our power to require them to do so,” he said in a statement.

President Obama missed the legal deadline for submitting his budget on Monday, the fourth of five years he has failed to produce a budget on time.

White House spokesman Jay Carney brushed off questions about the missed deadline.

“I don’t have an update on the President’s budget,” Carney said on Monday.  “I mean, I saw a tweet from the Speaker’s office.  The President has put forward consistently budgets that achieve what the American people overwhelmingly support, which is balanced deficit reduction, deficit reduction combined with investments in areas of our economy that would help the economy grow and create jobs.”

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