As many rushed to file their federal income taxes on time, Congress blew off a deadline it faced.
By law, Congress was supposed to pass a concurrent budget resolution for the coming fiscal year by April 15. Lawmakers left town for a recess and are no where near agreement on a budget for next year.
Unlike with taxes, there is no penalty for Congress missing this deadline. But it means that the process for funding the government is once again getting off to a very slow start. Congress must pass and the president must sign legislation funding the various federal agencies by October 1, when the new fiscal year begins.
It is no surprise that Washington is behind in the federal budget process as this has become a common occurrence. In fact, Congress has not met the April 15 deadline since 2003.
Even worse, Congress has yet to complete the process for the current fiscal year. Only one of the twelve spending bills have been passed so far even though we are more than halfway through the fiscal year.
Most government agencies are currently being funded by a temporary measure that expires on April 28. That means Congress only has a few days once it returns from its break next week to address the issue. And this deadline has teeth; missing it means a partial government shutdown.
Missing deadlines, relying on temporary measures, and waiting until the last minute are no way to run a government. The government expects more from us when it comes to paying taxes, we deserve more from our representatives.
A better budget and government spending process is essential to fixing the debt. See how the process is supposed to work.