Sunday, April 29, 2012, is an anniversary unprecedented in the history of American politics, marking three years since the Democratic-led Senate last complied with federal law by passing a budget.

The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 stipulates that Congress must approve a budget resolution by April 15 of each year. In the Senate, only 51 votes are needed to pass a budget, as budgets are one of the few pieces of legislation invulnerable to a filibuster. Democrats currently control 53 seats.

Democratic lawmakers have offered myriad excuses for their refusal to offer a budget, none of which hold up to scrutiny, critics say.

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