During an Oct. 2 interview on Fox News, Gov. Bob McDonnell said there is a pox on both political parties for causing the federal government’s partial shutdown. But he insisted the biggest welts are on the backs of President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate.
McDonnell, a Republican, noted that 49 states require the passage of balanced budgets each year. That includes Virginia.
"We’re incredulous, at the state level, it’s been four and a half years since the United States Senate has passed a budget, a spending blueprint for America," McDonnell said. "You know, no business, no state, no local government, no church, no synagogue, or a family could ever run like that."
Later in the interview, McDonnell repeated that the Senate has not passed a budget in 4-1/2 years. We asked for asked for elaboration and Tucker Martin, McDonnell’s chief of communications, sent us a PolitiFact Tennessee article from September 2012. It gave Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn, a True rating for saying the Senate has failed to pass a budget in "more than three years."
That Truth-O-Meter item said Senate hadn’t passed a budget since April 29, 2009. But things have changed.
The Senate, on March 23 this year, passed a $3.7 trillion budget on a 50-49 vote that maintained entitlements -- such as Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare -- and discretionary domestic programs. It differed from a $3.5 trillion House budget, passed three days earlier, that significantly cut entitlement programs and deficits over the coming decade.
Efforts to send the competing budgets to a conference committee have been unsuccessful, however. A group of Tea Party senators has blocked motions -- which need unanimous consent -- to advance the Senate’s spending plan. They have insisted on assurances that the budget negotiations would not lead to higher taxes and voiced concern that a conference committee could create momentum for procedures that thwart filibusters against increasing the nation's debt limit.
McDonnell said the U.S. Senate hasn’t passed a budget in four and a half years. His information is out of date. The Senate passed a budget in March. A group of Republican senators has blocked efforts to begin budget negotiations with the House.
What a difference a year makes for this claim. McDonnell’s statement is False.