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Rep. Wesley Belter, Published February 18 2012

I’ll take Wall Street Journal, CNBC over Forum and Conrad every time

There is long-standing advice to never challenge anyone who buys ink by the barrel; however, I have to challenge the Forum’s Feb. 6 Leafy Spurge concerning the issue of whether the United States Senate has passed a budget.

The Forum used the words “falsehoods” and “lie” to criticize those who contend that the Senate Budget Committee under Chairman Sen. Conrad has not proposed a budget. The Forum and Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., contend that the Budget Control Act is a budget.

You can twist and interpret anything to meet your argument, and I understand that, but credible sources indicate that the Senate has not followed the Congressional Budget Control Act of 1974, which set budget rules for Congress. The Feb. 9 CNBC business news show “Kudlow” spent considerable time discussing why the Senate had not passed a budget in compliance with the 1974 act. Then the Wall Street Journal’s Feb. 9 editorial states: “The Senate last passed a budget 1,106 days ago – that would be almost three years – and now the White House is telling Democrats not to bother this year either. Harry Reid will be pleased, because recently the majority leader said he had no plans to do so.”

The question is: Does a leading business show such as “Kudlow” and the highly respected Wall Street Journal have their facts wrong? The Wall Street Journal further points out that when ABC reporter Jack Tapper pressed White House press secretary Jay Carney on the issue of not having a Senate budget Carney responded with “the White House has no opinion about whether or not the Senate should pass a budget.”

I would suggest that The Forum be more guarded about all the facts before they use the words “lie” and “falsehoods.” Somewhere there is a disconnect on information provided by Conrad and The Forum versus the Wall Street Journal, CNBC business show “Kudlow,” the White House press secretary and Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid.

I’ll stick with those who contend that Conrad and the Senate has not followed the 1974 Budget Control Act, and that’s why no Senate budget in more than a thousand days is a point of discussion on the highly respected “Kudlow” business programs, and the Wall Street Journal.

Belter, R-Mapleton, N.D., has represented District 22 in the North Dakota House of Representatives since 1985.