“House Republicans,” Kara Rowland writes in the Washington Times, writes, “this weekend approved a funding bill that cuts 2011 spending levels by $61 billion compared with 2010, but the measure now goes to the Senate, where majority Democrats oppose it.” Actually, I quibble with the word to which I added emphasis in that sentence. While Republicans voted the bill out of the House, it’s won’t be going to the Senate right away. You see, according to the Senate’s web-page, the Senate will be out of session next week.
So, that doesn’t give the Democratic-controlled chamber much time to consider the funding bill and work out compromise legislation with the House before the continuing resolution funding the federal government expires the following week, on March 4 to be precise. The reason we need such a resolution is that last year when Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress, they failed to pass a budget for the 2011 Fiscal Year (which began last October 1).
Too busy were Democrats with the big ticket items on their party’s agenda, that they neglected one of the legislature’s fundamental responsibilities, passing a budget. So, without a budget, both Houses need to agree to a “short-term spending resolution to keep the government running” after March 4. Without this resolution, the government shuts down.
Now, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, as I reported on Friday, is laying the groundwork to blame Republicans for such a shutdown. But, if it weren’t for her failure last year when she was House Speaker to pass a budget, Congress wouldn’t this month be considering a continuing resolution. Her successor John Boehner has had to finish up the work she and her fellow Democrats left undone. And if Mrs. Pelosi’s Senate counterparts were committed to avoiding a government shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would call his chamber into session.
The shutdown, Rovin writes in Hot Air’s Green Room, “will be the Democrat’s fault plain and simple.” He goes on to ask an important question, wondering why the president hasn’t instructed “Harry Reid and the Senate Majority to forgo their vacation this next week and do the peoples work to put this nation back on a fiscally sound track”.
*and Harry Reid’s.
Thanks to reader Paul for inspiring this post with a thoughtful e-mail.