WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, has renewed his efforts at calling for the Senate to pass a budget as required by law.
"It has been almost four years since the Senate last passed a budget," a release from Enzi stated.
Enzi joined with Republican colleagues on the budget committee to send a letter to the new Budget Committee Chairman, Patty Murray (D), requesting concrete objectives to push through a budget.
"We believe the Budget Committee cannot be a bystander at this historic time when the nation will be confronting the most serious debt issues," the letter signed by Enzi and nine other senators reads. "We must take the steps necessary to avoid what Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles have told our committee will be the 'the most predictable economic crisis in history.'"
Enzi was an active proponent of the Simpson-Bowles budget recommendations that got shot down in 2010, earning only 11 votes. President Obama tasked former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson, a Wyoming Republican and North Carolina Democrat Erskine Bowles, a former chief of staff to President Clinton, with leading the bipartisan panel on deficit reduction in 2010.
"The Simpson-Bowles commission took aim at Washington's spendthrift ways with a little Wyoming commonsense," Enzi said in December 2011. "We need to do a series of bills like this where there is agreement and start the momentum for a number of steps."
Now, Enzi and his colleagues have fleshed those steps out in a real way for Murray, including a detailed weekly timeline on how to make it happen. The recommendations start with a proposed hearing on the economic effects of the federal debt during the week of Jan. 22. The letter calls for legislation to be referred to the Budget Committee by Oct. 7.
"There remains a strong desire among senators to serve this committee because members still see it as the forum for meeting the great challenge of our time," the letter stated. "Still, if our committee fails to do important work, its value will surely be diminished."
Wyoming's lone U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis also sees the lack of a budget as a major concern.
"If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there," she said on the floor of the house recently.
Murray has said she cannot guarantee passing a budget for 2014.
"I am committed to working with our committee and with our Congress to put a budget in place but there are a lot of questions in front of us: What happens in the next two weeks, six weeks, year?" she told TheHill.com
in November 2012. "Does the White House and the leadership come together on some solution to the budget that we have right now that precludes a budget being written next year? I have no idea."
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