Fresh off passing a bill that forces the Senate to write a budget for the first time in four years, House Republicans are now training their fire on President Obama with a new measure that would require him to submit a budget that actually gets the government out of the red.
Known as the Plan Act, the bill unveiled Friday would force Mr. Obama to go back to the drawing board if his next budget doesn’t achieve balance at least some time in the future.
“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,” said Rep. Tom Price, the Georgia Republican who is sponsoring the bill.
The bill will see a vote in the House next week.
The legislation says that if Mr. Obama doesn’t submit a budget that shows federal finances balanced within a decade, he must go back and create a new budget that shows when he would achieve balance.
The measure is unlikely to clear the Democratic-controlled Senate, but it does show a renewed willingness on the part of House Republicans to try to dictate the terms of debate.
On Thursday, the Senate passed a GOP-written bill that waives the debt limit through mid-May, but that also insists lawmakers write a budget or see their pay withheld. The Senate hasn’t passed a budget since 2009.
For his part, Mr. Obama has submitted budgets every year — though sometimes well after the deadline, as will be the case this year. But those blueprints haven’t fared very well in Congress. Last year’s budget was defeated on unanimous votes in both the House and Senate.