Legislative News
for the Week of
September 25, 2012
Rae Chornenky
Maria Jeffrey

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Rae Lynne Chornenky


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1,246 Days and Counting Since a Budget Has Been Passed in the Senate
      According to the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, Congress is required by law to annually pass a budget. It has been 1,246 days since one has been passed, and the fault lies with the Senate Democrats. According the the Senate Budget Committee, April 29, 2009, was the last day the Majority brought a budget plan to the floor, even though the deadline for passing a budget out of committee is April 1st. By contrast, the Republican-led House passed their budget for next year on March 29, 2012, ahead of schedule. However, since Sen. Kent Conrad, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, refuses to set up a legally required mark-up and Sen. Harry Reid states it would be "foolish" for Senate Democrats to offer a budget, nothing will be done if the Democrats continue to control the Senate after the elections in November. The following are talking points adapted from the Senate Budget Committee: 
  • Federal spending has reached over $10.4 trillion since a budget was last passed.
  • No Democrat budget plans were brought to the Senate floor in 2011 and 2012.
  • President Obama's FY2012 budget plan did not garner a single vote, Republican or Democrat, in the House or Senate. 
  • According to the Congressional Budget Act, a budget only needs 51 votes in the Senate to pass, but on February 12, 2012, White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew wrongly claimed that a budget needs 60 votes to pass the Senate.
  • Sen. Conrad was reminded by every Republican on the Budget Committee on March 14, 2012, that the committee is required by law to pass a budget by April 1st. Instead, he canceled the required mark-up on April 17th. 
  • On November 9th, 2011, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that Democrats did not offer a budget because "Republicans would have filibustered it" even though budget resolutions cannot be filibustered.
     For more reading on the failure of leadership in the Senate majority, read Sen. Jeff Sessions' Politico op-ed here.

       For more information on Obama's disastrous budget proposal, check out The $4 Trillion Deceit by the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee and By The Numbers: Three Full Years Since Senate Democrats Last Adopted A Budget
The Romneys' Tax Returns: Talking Points

The following are talking points provided by the RNC.
  • Gov. and Mrs. Romney have released two full years of tax returns, totaling over 1,200 pages. 
  • The Romneys donated over $7 million to charity between 2010 and 2011, donating more to charity than they paid in federal income taxes. 
  • The Romneys donated $4,020,772 to charity in 2011 alone, amounting to nearly 30% of their income. 
  • The Romneys only claimed a deduction for $2.25 million of their charitable contributions in 2011.  
  • If the Romneys had made no charitable donations and taken no charitable deduction, their effective tax rate would have been 18.8% of their adjusted gross income last year. 
  • In addition to releasing two years of tax returns, the Romney campaign has also released a letter from PricewaterhouseCoopers providing information about the Romneys' taxes going back to 1990. 
  • In 2011, the Romneys paid $1,935,708 in taxes on $13,696,951 in mostly investment income. 
  • The Romneys' effective tax rate for 2011 was 14.1%.
  • According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, over the 20 year period of the Romneys' taxes they surveyed, their average annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20%
  • For 2010 and 2011, the Romneys paid $4.9 million in federal income taxes.