The U.S. Republican-led House of
Representatives on Wednesday voted to pass a bill that would force
President Barack Obama to estimate when the federal government's
budget will balance again, fresh evidence of the ongoing budget
wrangling between the Republicans and Democrats.
The lower chamber of Congress passed the measure in a vote of 253- 167, given Obama missing Monday's deadline set out in law to release the federal government's budget for the next fiscal year starting Oct. 1.
The measure was intended to prod the White House and the Senate to engage in GOP lawmakers' efforts to slash mounting government debt.
"On Monday, the President missed the deadline for submitting his fiscal year 2014 budget. So, unfortunately, we haven't yet seen what the President will propose to address our exploding debt, " House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said during debate on the House floor.
"But if the President's 2014 budget is similar to his plan from last year, it will never achieve balance. Not next year, not in 10 years, and not even in 30 or 40 years," said Cantor.
The House passage sent the bill to the Democratic-controlled Senate, which is not expected to take up the bill.
In its latest budget outlook, the Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday predicted the federal government to register an 845- billion- U.S. dollar budget deficit this year, the first time during Obama's presidency that the red ink would fall below the 1- trillion-dollar threshold, but was still at an alarmingly high level.
The U.S. federal government last balanced its budget in 2001.
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