For months after his election to the U.S. Senate Nov. 2, 2010, Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) kept a low profile. He did the same for the first two months since he was sworn into office.
Rubio broke his self-imposed silence Monday saying it was time for Congress to pass an annual budget and announced he would oppose any additional short-term continuing budget resolutions.
“Our country faces a brutal reality: for far too long, the federal government has been recklessly spending money it does not have. It is the reason we now have a $14 trillion debt that threatens to bankrupt our country and why, each day, our government borrows $4 billion - almost half from foreigners and most of that from China," Rubio said in a statement released by his office.
“Despite the seriousness of this debt crisis, an absurd pattern has clearly developed in Washington. Last year, when they still controlled the House, Senate and White House, the Democrats failed to pass a budget at all," he added.
"In the first two months of this year, Senate Democrat leaders have spent invaluable time not on tackling the debt but on re-authorizing the F.A.A. and reforming the patent system. Their only attempt at addressing our debt was a plan to cut $4.7 billion in spending, which only equals what our government borrows approximately every 30 hours alone," said Rubio, one of the tea party movement's favorite politicians.
“I will no longer support short-term budget plans. While attempts at new spending reductions are commendable, we simply can no longer afford to nickel-and-dime our way out of the dangerous debt America has amassed,” Rubio wrote in an op-ed published on the conservative blog RedState.com Monday. “With Congress set to begin another week-long recess next week, every senator and representative should feel ashamed if they have to go home again, look their constituents in the eye, and explain why nothing is being done about our debt crisis.”
The Daily Caller said Congress has not passed a federal budget since 2009, instead choosing to fund the government through a string of short term continuing resolutions (CRs).
Republicans, who took control of the House in January, have demanded that each new CR contain spending reductions. Earlier this month, Democrats and Republicans agreed to a two-week extension with about $4 billion in cuts and House Republicans last week introduced a measure to fund the government another three weeks with $6 billion in spending reductions.
In the meantime, the chambers are in negotiations with the White House to agree to a measure to fund government operations through this fiscal year, which ends in September. The House passed a measure with $61 billion in cuts, which Senate Democrats have ruled out as “draconian” and voted down last week.
Rubio, however, is fed up with the process and called it “short-sighted and dangerous.”
Several members of the House Tea Party Caucus also expressed opposition to the CR extensions.
According to The Daily Caller, Rubio and Tea Party members were not alone.
Members from both parties have criticized the use of stop-gap measures to fund the government. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Friday warned that he would not support another short-term measure after this week.
“You may keep passing these two weeks at a time, none of us want to shut down government,” the Maryland Democrat said. “But I will tell you that while I and some of my colleagues may vote to do this one more time, for me it’s the last time.”
The Daily Caller added that since Congress and the White House have not found common ground on a spending plan, the House and Senate are seeking to pass another short-term resolution to buy more time.
It is yet to be seen, however, whether or not congressional leaders will be able to find support for another CR before spending from the last bill runs dry Friday, the publication said in its story.