There is a reason why they call it a “lame duck” session, especially after a November election cycle where there will be a significant change in elected representation on Capitol Hill the following year.
And let’s be rather honest, there’s no difference in the seismic change which occurred in 2006, the final midterm election of George W. Bush. It’s funny though – there was a much different response from the liberal progressive media then and now. As well, it’s interesting how the two presidents reacted — Bush accepted the results, while Obama stated that he heard the voices of those who didn’t vote..
So why is this lame duck session of Congress trying to pass a massive $1 trillion spending bill through September 2015? In essence, this lame duck session will make spending decisions that will encompass almost half of the first term of the 114th Congress — and that’s not what Americans voted for on November 4th 2014.
As reported by The Hill, “House conservatives are griping that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is putting the squeeze on them by rushing through a $1 trillion spending bill in Congress’s last week in session. Appropriators are expected to roll out the legislation early next week, giving critics scant time to figure out what’s inside before they cast their votes by the end of the week. The government would shut down on Dec. 12 without a new funding bill.”
“Here we are doing the appropriations bill the last couple days” before a government shutdown, conservative Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) said in an interview this week. “That’s not to squeeze Harry Reid. That’s to squeeze us.” Boehner critics say there’s no reason the Speaker couldn’t have brought the spending package to the floor this past week, giving the House more time to consider it. But doing so would also give more time for the right to build a case against it. “They don’t want you to read it, that’s why! You think they want you to analyze all the mischievous items in there?” Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) told The Hill.”
So Congress got back to D.C. on Monday and sometime between then and the 12th of December, there will be a massive spending bill dropped on them with the expectation they vote for it — or else. It will be massive and countless pages — certainly over 1,000. And the threat will be simply, “You’ll be blamed for shutting down the government” — of course that’s an empty threat.
What should be happening is regular order, and a House and Senate passing spending bills by priority — there are 12 appropriations bills to fund the government. It should be done by critical functions of the federal government agency — not by massive “omnibus” legislation — and no one reads it because you can’t and you don’t have enough time — all part of the theater of the absurd.
The 113th Congress should go ahead and do a continuing resolution that allows the government to operate through the end of this year and probably until February. Then the new 114th Congress needs to get to business.
“Asked if the timing of the plan was aimed at jamming the Senate or House conservatives, Jones replied: “I think its aimed at screwing over the American people. You can quote me on that.” You got that right, Walter!
The Hill says, “most of the government will be funded in an 11-bill omnibus running through the end of the fiscal year in September. The Homeland Security Department would be kept on a shorter leash, funded with a short-term continuing resolution that would keep money flowing only until February. The combination is being called the “cromnibus.”
“House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said the legislation will be unveiled on Monday, setting up a likely House vote on Wednesday — just one day before money runs out for the government. Boehner and Rogers blame the Senate for the bill’s timing. The House passed seven of the 12 appropriations bills this Congress, while eleven passed out of committee. The Senate passed zero. “And as a result, it makes it that much more difficult to come to an agreement with the Senate on an omnibus appropriations package,” Boehner told reporters on Thursday. Rogers also pointed the finger at the upper chamber and said House negotiators were doing “the best we can.”
So why aren’t we hearing more about the “do nothing” U.S. Senate under Harry Reid that didn’t pass a single appropriations bill? This is the kabuki dance of Washington D.C. but the American people should not be forced to pay or suffer any more because of the lack of professionalism of Sen. Harry Reid or the D.C. media in reporting such.
Furthermore, constitutional conservatives who seek fiscal responsibility shouldn’t be continually the “blame child” for the blatant failure of the upper house under Democrat control. However, it’s now the defined responsibility and mandate of a new GOP-controlled legislative branch to rectify these ills and restore regular order and put legislation on the desk of President Obama. Reid will no longer be around to be the real obstructionist. And remember, spending bills originate in the House as per that document called the Constitution.
So the antics will begin over the next few days, but know the truth behind the situation — which I experienced.
Here are two perspectives, “Look, we were given less than a month to put an omnibus bill together for the entire government for the entire year — it’s a trillion plus dollars with thousands of items,” Rogers said. “And since the Senate did not pass any of the appropriations bills, it forced us to put together an omnibus.” “I believe we need to fund the government through Sept. 30. If not, it will be very chaotic next year,” said retiring Rep. Ed Pastor (D-Ariz.), a House appropriator who is leaning toward voting for the plan. “An omnibus bill is a lot better than a CR or continuing resolution. So this is the best of two worlds.”
But retiring Rep. Pastor shouldn’t be determining the future spending appropriations of the United States. I never liked CRs or Omnibus spending bills. Perhaps one day we will see a Congress that does what everyday Americans do, budget and spend within their means.