Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, has signed on to legislation that would amend the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced federal budget. Braley was asked if the legislation isn’t premature since congress has not passed a budget in three years.
“One of the reasons why we haven’t been able to pass a budget and spending plan is because of the toxic partisan environment that we’ve been facing here in Washington. And the inability of people in leadership to try to get a broad bipartisan consensus on a budget deal,” Braley responded. “With this balanced-budget amendment, it puts into place a framework that has real consequences.”
Likely Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, was in Iowa Tuesday and said President Obama has put off budget decisions and “created a prairie fire of debt” that’s swept across the country. Braley says he takes offense to Romney’s characterization.
“That prairie fire started long before President Obama took the oath of office. Because before I got to congress in 2007, — Republicans who controlled the House and Senate and the White House — paid for a Medicare prescription drug benefit that costs hundreds of billions of dollars, they did it off budget, and it added to the deficit. They paid for a war in Iraq and Afghanistan that were not part of the budget process.”
Braley says there is plenty of responsibility to pass around for the budget problems and we should talk about how to fix it, not about who started it. The congressman made his comments during his weekly conference call with reporters.