BY Staff WritersFebruary 27, 2024
2 months ago
BY 
 | February 27, 2024
2 months ago

Republicans Suggest Preventing Biden From Delivering SOTU Speech

Some Republicans have proposed the SUBMIT IT Act in response to President Joe Biden's failure to submit spending and national security plans on time.

This legislation aims to enforce deadlines for presidential submissions by withholding the privilege to address Congress, highlighting a growing tension over punctuality in government proceedings.

The roots of this issue trace back to the first Monday in February, a date set by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 and later reinforced by the National Security Act of 1947, which mandates the submission of both budget and national security proposals.

Despite these longstanding requirements, enforcement has remained lax, allowing deadlines to be routinely missed without consequence. President Biden's lapse in submitting these crucial documents by February 5 has sparked new controversy and legislative action this year.

Understanding the Submissions in Political Context

Representative Buddy Carter, a Republican from Georgia, spearheaded the SUBMIT IT Act, which stands for Send Us Budget Materials & International Tactics In Time. This bill specifically targets the tradition of the State of the Union address, proposing that future presidents be barred from this high-profile event unless they have met their submission obligations.

Although this measure will not affect Biden's address scheduled for March 7 this year, it signals a significant shift in how Congress might enforce its deadlines in the future.

The repeated delays in submission by not only President Biden but also his four predecessors underscore a deeper systemic problem. Documents reveal that Biden's budget proposals in the past have been overdue by 115, 49, and 31 days, respectively, showcasing a fading respect for statutory deadlines that were once considered sacrosanct.

Legislative Responses and Public Discourse

Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Iowa, introduced a Senate version of the SUBMIT IT Act, reflecting bipartisan exasperation with current affairs. Both Carter and Ernst argue that speaking before the joint session, a tradition since President Woodrow Wilson reignited it in 1913, should be a privilege contingent on fulfilling presidential duties.

Criticism has not been limited to elected officials. Kurt Couchman, a senior fellow in fiscal policy at Americans for Prosperity, has also voiced concern, painting the budget and defense proposal delays as symptomatic of a broader breakdown in the budget process.

His comments echo a sentiment of frustration transcending party lines, calling for accountability and punctuality in governmental operations.

A Detailed Look at Legislative Intentions

If passed, The SUBMIT IT Act would institute a tangible penalty for a largely symbolic deadline. Rep. Buddy Carter expressed dissatisfaction directly, stating to Fox News Digital that the president's failure to meet the deadline underscores a broader issue of responsibility. Senator Ernst further emphasized the need for substantive plans over rhetoric, especially during economic and global instability.

Conversations around this issue are not new. The Congressional Research Service notes that the budget submission deadline has shifted over the years, with the most recent adjustment in 1990 specifying the first Monday in February as the latest acceptable date.

This historical context underscores a longstanding struggle between Congress and the executive branch over timely submissions and the consequences of failing to adhere to them.

Tradition Versus Accountability in Government Proceedings

The Constitution does not mandate the State of the Union to be delivered as a speech; this tradition began with Wilson and has been upheld as a formality, with invitations extended by congressional leadership. The SUBMIT IT Act challenges this tradition by adding a conditional layer, effectively leveraging the invitation to ensure the president complies with established deadlines.

As this story unfolds, it remains to be seen how the proposed legislation will impact the relationship between the branches of government, particularly in how obligations and traditions intersect. The debate surrounding the SUBMIT IT Act brings to light the broader issues of accountability, punctuality, and responsibility that have long plagued the budget and national security submission process.

Conclusion

The SUBMIT IT Act represents a novel approach to enforcing longstanding deadlines for presidential submissions to Congress. By linking the submission of spending and national security plans to the privilege of addressing a joint Congress session, the Act aims to instill a sense of urgency and accountability in the executive branch.

With support from figures like Rep. Buddy Carter and Sen. Joni Ernst, this legislative proposal highlights a critical moment in the ongoing dialogue between the executive and legislative branches over adherence to protocol and the importance of timeliness in governance.

As discussions continue, the potential for this act to reshape traditions and strengthen the framework of governmental operations is evident, calling attention to the necessity of reform in the budget and national security planning process.

Written by: Staff Writers

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