By Contributor Samuel Husemann
With an upcoming deadline to fund the government, a continuing resolution is necessary to keep the government open, and unlike most congressional screw-ups, the fault for this falls fully on one chamber and one political party.
It’s ironic that House Republicans have been bashing the fresh Democratic majority as less productive. Ever since Speaker Nancy Pelosi regained the gavel of the House of Representatives, the chamber has been more productive than its predecessors (i.e. not passing a ton of “ceremonial resolutions”) and certainly more productive than Republicans in the Senate. And when it comes to the upcoming budget deadline, Senator Mitch McConnell and the Republicans he puppeteers are clearly at fault for the need for a continuing resolution.
So how’d we get here? Well, the easiest answer would be that Democrats control the House and Republicans control the Senate, leading to inevitable gridlock. But it’s not just that. Senator McConnell has called himself the “Grim Reaper” of bills passed in the House, refusing to even give them a hearing.
Why? He’s focused on shooting Trump judicial nominees through the Senate at breakneck speed and has no interest in giving the Democrats a legislative win.
Therefore it should come as no surprise that while the House has passed ten of twelve spending bills, funding altogether about 96% of the government, the Senate has passed not one of its spending bills. All of this has forced the House to pass a continuing resolution just to maintain an open government.
Just to restate this: Mitch McConnell is risking a government shutdown so that his chamber can spend its time confirming lifetime nominees for a President who has never even won a plurality of the vote.
And what’s almost worse are the items that the GOP is arguing for – and against – in the budget.
For one, they’re completely okay with the President draining $3.6 billion dollars of military funds to build a wall that he couldn’t get Congress to approve- this coming from the party of limited executive power and a strong military!
They also don’t believe that civil servants should receive a 3.1% pay increase for this fiscal year despite that being what the military is receiving. Of course, under Republican logic, maintaining the country from the inside is not as important as protection from the outside.
Finally, the Senate wants to pay $25 million to pay for the Administration’s unnecessary and unwanted relocation of employees of the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Why should Congress support such a move that has no basis in fact? If Republicans were for limited spending, they wouldn’t be supporting such a ridiculous waste of public monies.
Just to be clear, American politics is a massive minefield full of disagreements, and most times, both parties are at fault for the shutdowns, stalemates, and gridlock. But in this instance, Republicans bear the blame.