WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., on Wednesday challenged Republican claims that Senate Democrats have failed to approve a budget in over 1,000 days.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., on Wednesday challenged Republican claims that Senate Democrats have failed to approve a budget in over 1,000 days.

“In the last few days some folks in Washington have come out over and over saying we haven’t had a budget in over 1,000 days. It’s a wonderful sound bite but it is not true,” Pryor told reporters on a conference call.

House Republican freshmen – including Reps. Tim Griffin, R-Little Rock, Steve Womack, R-Rogers, and Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro – have hammered away at Senate Democrats for failing to approve a budget resolution. Tuesday marked the 1,000th day since the last resolution passed on April 29, 2009.

The GOP freshmen argue that a budget resolution is needed to establish priorities and provide guidance needed to tackle the long-term debt and deficit problems facing the federal government. Without it, they say, lawmakers are making spending decisions on the fly.

Griffin on Tuesday pointed his Twitter followers to a press release blasting Senate Democrats for failing to complete a basic responsibility of governing. Womack tweeted to his followers that 1,000 days ago there was no Apple IPad and no budget from Senate Democrats.

The Senate rejected the House-approved budget resolution last July and offered no alternative. At the time, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., trashed the measure as “weak and senseless” and “anathema to what our country is all about.”

Pryor said Wednesday that he is somewhat puzzled by the GOP attack. While it is true that no budget resolution has been approved, Congress enacted the Budget Control Act of 2011 on Aug. 2.

The law, which passed the Senate 74-26 and the House 269-161, raised the debt ceiling to avert a pending default and established a mechanism to find $1.5 trillion in savings over the next decade.

“It’s not a budget resolution but in some ways it is more important. It has the force of law behind it, the budget resolution just binds Congress,” Pryor said. “And this sets the budget for 10 years and some of it is painful.”

Pryor said that he does not expect Republicans will stop raising the budget resolution issue.

“Again, that is the kind of rhetoric in Washington and shows how partisan things have become. It won’t stop people from saying it but it is not true. We do have a budget,” Pryor said.