McCarthy: Obama Batting at the ‘Mendoza Line’ When It Comes to Budgeting

By Elizabeth Harrington | February 6, 2013 | 7:08am EST

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) (AP Photo)

( – House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) says President Barack Obama has once again failed in his duty to present his budget plan before the deadline set by Congress. He’s met the deadline only once in the last five years.

“With our $1 trillion deficits, the one thing the American public expects is a budget,” McCarthy told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday. “The Budget [and] Accounting Act of 1921 requires that the president submit a budget on the first Monday of February.”

“He’s had five opportunities to do it, but he’s missed the deadline 4 of the 5 times,” McCarthy said.

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“If any of you are baseball fans, that’s batting a .200 average,” McCarthy said.  “If you’re a big baseball fan, you know now he’s at the ‘Mendoza line.’” 

“The Mendoza line is about Mario Mendoza,” he explained.  “It’s the line that you talk for a major league baseball player if they become incompetent.” 

“I think the American public expect more and expect accountability,” McCarthy said.

Mario Mendoza played nine seasons as a shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers in the 1970s and 1980s boasting a career average of .215. 

He has since become a symbol for incompetent hitting, batting only .118 in his final season in 1982.

This week, Obama again failed to meet the congressionally mandated first-Monday-in-February deadline to present a budget.  Only once during his presidency has he submitted a budget on time, in 2010, when he offered a record $3.8 trillion proposal for fiscal year 2011. 

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the president is “shirking his duty” by not presenting a budget.

"I’m disappointed the President has missed his deadline. But I’m not surprised,” he said in a statement on Monday. “We still don’t know when we’ll receive the president’s request.”

"The House Budget Committee will do its job,” Ryan added.  “We’ll write a budget—and submit it on time. In the past two years, we’ve offered our solutions to the country’s fiscal challenges. Now the President must do the same."

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the focus should be on “substance over deadlines.” 

Obama has “put forward consistently budgets that achieve what the American people
overwhelmingly support,” Carney said on Monday.

On Tuesday, Obama told reporters, “both the House and the Senate are working towards budget proposals” that “I hope” include a mix of spending cuts and more taxes.

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