the bistro off broadway

Redstate
How the Democrats got us to a shutdown
By Soren Dayton
October 2nd, 2013

The press has been falling over itself to attack Republicans for the shutdown and claiming that they are the source of all the irresponsibility in the process. They have conveniently forgotten several important things about how much the Democrats have broken the budget process in the last couple of years and in this year in particular. I wrote back in January about how the Senate Democrats were dismantling the budget process. While the Senate did pass a budget resolution this year, in many ways the situation has gotten much, much worse. A shutdown is, purely for procedural reasons, a natural and logical consequence of the massive failure of the Senate to do its job.

Let’s work through the details.

The budget process starts every year with the President offering his budget in the first week of February. But that’s not what happened. He offered it on April 10, two months after the statutory deadline. In fact, he offered it after both the House and the Senate had passed budget resolutions, so his budget plan was already a moot point. He didn’t do his job, so Congress had to move on without him. (Incidentally, this was the first time that the Senate had passed one since April 29, 2009)

But then the Senate ground to a halt. The Library of Congress offers a very helpful scorecard about how the budget process is proceeding this year that makes it very easy to compare how each chamber did, and how that compares to the past.

This year, the House passed four appropriations bills:

Military Construction and Veterans Affairs on June 4, which passed 421-4. This bill cost $158 billion.

Homeland Security on June 6, which passed 245-182. This bill cost $39 billion.

Energy and Water on Jule 10, which passed 227-198. This bill cost $30 billion.

Defense on July 24, which passed 315-109. This bill cost $516 billion.

The least controversial of these, Defense and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, totaling $674 billion is over half of the $1.15 trillion that President Obama requested. The Senate could have done something with these and moved the ball forward. The House vote totals prove that these weren’t controversial.

By contrast, the Senate only put a single appropriations bill on the floor, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, nicknamed, appropriately, THUD. This bill cost $54 billion, less than 5% of the President’s proposal. And they brought it to the floor at the end of July, at the last possible minute before the August recess.

For the rest of this article and more, go to Redstate



 
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