Opinion—The piecemeal federal budget is a disservice to the country

Jan 26, 2018

By Don Wallis.

Congress continues to pass stopgap budgets every few months with no reasonable expectation of drafting a long-term budget.

As of today, it appears there is no chance Congress will pass a long-term budget before the Friday deadline and increasingly less likelihood they will agree upon an interim budget.

This is the fourth time “since the fiscal year began Oct. 1” that “another temporary spending measure…will be necessary to keep the government open…”

An editorial in The Washington Post by Mike DeBonis, Ed O’Keefe and Sean Sullivan outlines all the excuses coming from both sides of the aisle for this state of affairs.

For example—“Republicans moved to pin the blame on Democrats for a potential shutdown. ‘For several years now, Democrats have blasted us for trying to extract policy goals when funding the government and now they are doing the same thing,’ a House GOP aide said.”

The solution has been obvious for a long time. Budget negotiations should not hinge upon the resolution of issues, such as DACA and the border wall, that are not directly relate to government financing.

“Echoing many other Republican lawmakers, Sen. Paul Rand (Ky.) said in a Monday interview on Fox News Channel that the immigration debate should be resolved separately from the spending talks.”

This is true but it worth noting that “the government last shut down in October 2013, when Republicans opposed to President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul demanded its defunding. Government offices closed, and hundreds of thousands of federal employees were furloughed for two weeks before the GOP relented.”

Neither party can claim the high ground on this issue. Congress, as a whole, is more concerned with small partisan victories than on the well-being of the people they represent.

There is no reasonable hope that this situation is going to change.

Source—

Shutdown looms as Republicans seek short-term spending deal for government, Mike DeBonis, Ed O’Keefe, Sean Sullivan, The Washington Post, Jan. 16, 2018.

 

Don Wallis has more than 40 years experience in residential and commercial construction, and land development. He also has a law degree and currently teaches Environmental Law at Santa Fe Community College.