The U.S. House, in a mostly party-line vote Wednesday, passed a bill that would force President Obama to estimate when the federal budget will be in balance.
The legislation also would force the president to lay out the steps he wants to take to eliminate the federal deficit, The Hill reported, adding the bill has little chance in the Senate.
The newspaper said the Require a PLAN Act is part of a new Republican initiative to require Obama and the Democratic-led Senate to try to cut the deficit. The House approved the bill in a 253-167 mostly Republican vote, although 26 Democrats bucked their leaders and voted for it.
The bill calls for Obama to submit a 2014 budget this year that would show no deficit in some future year. If his budget fails to do that, under the bill Obama would have to submit a supplemental budget estimating when a balanced budget would be achieved, and steps on how to achieve it, The Hill reported.
Republicans have blasted the Senate for not passing a budget in four years, and the president for submitting late budgets that aren't balanced.
"This president does not have any plans to balance the federal budget, ever," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said. "We can't do it alone. We need to have the cooperation of the president and the other body to make any meaningful progress."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the Republicans are the problem, The Hill reported.
"Playing games, that's what they have been doing and that's what they continue to do as we go into the spring," Pelosi said. "Playing games that give new meaning to the term 'March Madness,' because that's what will result if we have to face a sequester."
"Is that a path the majority wants to walk down, because if they keep spending our time debating stupid legislation like this, we're going to find ourselves on that path before too long," Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y, said. The Hill reported.
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