House Republicans are calling out the president for missing Monday's deadline to submit his budget to Congress, and they plan on holding a vote Tuesday to draw attention to the lapse.
By law the president is required to deliver his budget for the upcoming fiscal year to Capitol Hill the first Monday in February. This year marks the fourth time in five years this administration's submission will be late.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney suggested that reporters should focus on "substance over deadlines" when asked Monday why the president failed to meet the deadline.
Carney argued that the House GOP budgets were "highly partisan" and maintained that the president "has put forward consistently budgets that achieve what the American people overwhelmingly support."
Continuing their longstanding offensive to label the White House and Senate Democrats as not serious about reining in record budget deficits, House GOP leaders scheduled a vote for Tuesday on a bill to drive their message home and force the administration to give Congress more details about its fiscal plans.
The "Require a PLAN" Act, sponsored by Georgia Republican Rep Tom Price, instructs the president to produce a budget that brings the federal budget into balance within ten years or submit a plan to Congress by April 1st explaining what year the administration's budget would do that.
House Republican leaders released statements Monday, one after the other, criticizing the administration for ignoring the law.
"For the fourth time in five years this White House has proven it does not take trillion-dollar deficits seriously enough to submit a budget on time," House Speaker John Boehner said in his statement.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said, "Every time the President and Senate Democrats shirk their duty, they delay choices we need to make. We've still got time, but it's dwindling. Every missed deadline is a missed opportunity. We need to get serious about spending now."
Carney did not say whether the president would submit his budget before his State of the Union address, which is scheduled for February 12th.
Boehner recently told House Republicans that he supports Ryan's goal of drafting a bill that will balance the budget in ten years - a move that would require significant spending cuts and dramatic changes to entitlement programs.
In contrast, the budget the GOP-led House passed last year that was drafted by Ryan took more than 25 years to balance. Democrats held up Ryan's budget and its proposal to overhaul Medicare as a major political issue in the 2012 elections, and would likely zero in on the changes in this year's version to argue the GOP plan could hurt seniors and slash popular federal programs.
Last week the Democratic-led Senate passed the House GOP's bill to suspend the nation's debt ceiling through May. It also included a provision requiring each chamber to approve a budget by April or members' paychecks would be withheld. Senate Democratic leaders claimed they already had plans to pass their own budget, even though they haven't held a vote on one in four years.