Van Hollen, Budget Committee Democrats: Use Budget Mark-up Delay to Hold Hearing on President’s Budget

Committee Democrats urge Chairman Price to reconsider “the sharply partisan and fundamentally flawed decision” to snub the President
Van Hollen also introduced resolution directing the Budget Committee to hold a public hearing on the President’s budget

Washington, DC – Today Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, and every Democratic member of the Committee sent a letter to Chairman Tom Price urging him to use the delay in budget mark-up to reconsider the decision to deny the President a chance to present his budget to Congress, as has been longstanding, bipartisan tradition. Also today, Congressman Van Hollen introduced a resolution directing the Budget Committee to hold a public hearing on the President’s budget, but Republicans blocked its passage.

“Denying the President’s budget a hearing is a blatant breach of longstanding protocol, and a crass display of partisanship,” Van Hollen and the Committee Democrats wrote in their letter to Chairman Price. “We call on you to use the additional time afforded by the delay in mark-up to review and debate the President’s budget. Upholding this longstanding, bipartisan tradition ensures that the Committee lives up to its responsibilities to the American people.” 

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Chairman Price:
We are writing again to call on you to hold a hearing on the President’s 2017 budget request now that that the Budget Committee mark-up of the budget resolution has been postponed.  The refusal to hold a hearing on the President’s budget is an unprecedented show of disrespect to him – and the office he holds. It also breaks a forty-year long precedent of this Committee.  Every year since 1975 the Budget Committee has given the President the fundamental courtesy of reviewing his budget, regardless of the politics of the President or the party in control of the House.  Denying the President’s budget a hearing is a blatant breach of longstanding protocol, and a crass display of partisanship.

Rejecting the President’s budget – sight unseen – quashes the ability of the Committee to do its job.  Had the Committee held a hearing on the President’s budget, you would know that it creates prosperity and opportunity for all, not just those already at the top. It rejects the Tea Party agenda and instead focuses on growing the economy, investing in key areas that strengthen the economy and national security, and ensuring the United States remains competitive in the 21st century global economy. It makes continued fiscal progress through targeted savings in health care and implementing immigration and tax reform.
You now have an opportunity to reconsider the sharply partisan and fundamentally flawed decision.  We call on you to use the additional time afforded by the delay in mark-up to review and debate the President’s budget. Upholding this longstanding, bipartisan tradition ensures that the Committee lives up to its responsibilities to the American people. 

Sincerely,

Chris Van Hollen (MD-08), Ranking Member

John Yarmuth (KY-03)

Bill Pascrell (NJ-09)

Tim Ryan (OH-13)

Gwen Moore (WI-04)

Kathy Castor (FL-11)

Jim McDermott (WA-07)

Barbara Lee (CA-13)

Mark Pocan (WI-02)

Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01)

Debbie Dingell (MI-12)

Ted Lieu (CA-33)

Donald Norcross (NJ-01)

Seth Moulton (MA-06)