Another Government Shut-Down Coming?
House Republicans closed ranks just after midnight on Friday morning, and passed legislation to avert a government shutdown at the end of the month. The vote tally was 219-203.
But the bill received almost no Democratic support and faces an uncertain future in the U.S. Senate because Republicans have used the funding bill as a vehicle for disaster relief money, and insisted it be paid for by slashing funds for jobs programs Democrats support. Dems say the GOP legislation provides insufficient aid, and sets a dangerous precedent by requiring those funds to be offset with partisan budget cuts.
"The bill the House will vote on tonight is not an honest effort at compromise," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in a statement anticipating its passage. "It fails to provide the relief that our fellow Americans need as they struggle to rebuild their lives in the wake of floods, wildfires and hurricanes, and it will be rejected by the Senate."
A livid Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) told reporters Thursday night "We're fed up with this...we're sick of it, we're tired of it."
Since the cult of conservatism seems so enamored of forcing schools to close and bridges to crumble in exchange for emergency aid, here's an idea: force the cuts to come only out of districts whose representatives voted for this legislative mockery.
As a responsible progressive, I understand that Democrats should do everything in their power to force this insanity to die in conference, and ultimately pass a bill without this provision.
But there's a small part of me that would love to give the districts that elected these jokers exactly what they deserve.