Congress Plans New Bill Over Budget

President Joe Biden is gearing up to deliver his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress. But  he’s being faced with an ultimatium from Congress.

Biden missed his deadline to present key spending and national security plans to Congress and it seems Congress have had enough.

The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, along with the National Security Act of 1947, sets clear deadlines for these submissions—no later than the first Monday in February. But, as we’ve seen, there’s been a bit of a slack with no real enforcement mechanism in place.

To give you a perspective on how common this issue has been, Biden’s budget proposals in the past three years missed the deadline by 115, 49, and 31 days, respectively.

Enter the SUBMIT IT Act, a proposal with a name that pretty much spells it out: Send Us Budget Materials & International Tactics In Time. This act is pushing for a simple yet impactful penalty for not just President Biden, but all future presidents who miss their deadlines. No budget, no national security plan? Then no grand speech to Congress.

The SUBMIT IT Act aims to change that by prohibiting House or Senate leadership from inviting the president to address a joint session of Congress until those documents are submitted.

The goal of the act isn’t just to target Biden, former President Obama and Trump were also late at times getting the budget in on time.

Representative Buddy Carter, a Republican from Georgia, is leading the charge on this bill, voicing his frustration to Fox News Digital. He points out that “President Biden’s budget was due on Feb. 5, yet Congress has seen nothing.” According to Carter, it’s irresponsible for the president to deliver a State of the Union address without first submitting these crucial plans.

Interestingly, if the SUBMIT IT Act passes, it would affect the State of the Union addresses going into 2025 and beyond. However, it won’t impact Biden’s address this year, scheduled for March 7. But here’s a crucial point—Biden isn’t the first president to be tardy with these documents. His four immediate predecessors, including Donald Trump, were also late. This indicates a broader, systemic issue rather than a partisan problem.

Senator Joni Ernst from Iowa has introduced a Senate version of the bill, emphasizing that the president should have a plan in place before addressing Congress and the nation, especially during challenging times like skyrocketing inflation and global unrest.

“If the president is going to be allowed the opportunity to address Congress and the entire nation, he should actually have a plan in place,” Ernst said in a public statement when announcing the Senate version. “At a time when Americans are facing skyrocketing inflation and the world is on fire, we deserve more than just empty rhetoric.”

Speaker Johnson did invite Biden to speak. However, that was on January 6th, and Biden has yet to deliver a budget for the scheduled March speech.

This ongoing issue highlights a breakdown in the budget process that has been worsening over the years. The Congressional Research Service has noted changes in the deadline over the years, with the most recent adjustment in 1990. Despite the Constitution requiring a State of the Union update, it doesn’t specify the need for a speech. In fact, every president from Thomas Jefferson through William Howard Taft submitted a written annual message to Congress. It was President Woodrow Wilson who, in 1913, broke with tradition and delivered a speech.



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