Saturday, March 2, 2013

LAWMAKERS FAILED US WITH THE SEQUESTER; SO WHAT’S NEXT TO SCREW UP?

Photo: Ove Overmyer
March 2, 2013-- Members of Congress snuck out of Washington just as automatic across-the-board spending cuts took effect and no one is quite sure what the hell is going to happen. But we do know this-- to reduce spending at a time like this is like denying food to your child who is being nursed in an incubator. And, when lawmakers eventually return back to their DC offices they'll find many pressing matters that require their immediate attention. They also will be witnessing a lot of pain and suffering in their districts back home.

The biggest thing hanging over our heads is a possible Government Shutdown. After dealing with the fiscal cliff and sequester, the federal government is now faced with running out of money unless Congress passes a continuing resolution to fund the government past March 27. Both President Obama and Speaker John Boehner have hinted they’ll pass something well before the deadline. I will believe that when I see it.

And, possibly at the same time lawmakers will try and tackle Immigration Reform. Both parties see political benefits to passing comprehensive immigration reform and unlike most issues on Capitol Hill, there are actually bipartisan talks on how to hammer out a deal. But until there’s a deal, I’ll believe it’s for real when I see Obama bring out the pen.

For most Americans, you would have to living under a rock not to have been personally affected by Gun Violence at some point in your life. The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to take up several proposals pushed by President Obama including enhanced background checks, an assault weapons ban and a gun trafficking measure. There appears to be some agreement on background checks, but Democrats are less optimistic on the other common sense measures. Be ready for some ugliness coming from the NRA. You haven’t seen anything yet. 

Another quagmire in DC is the inability of Obama to fill high level cabinet posts. These Confirmation Hearings have been nothing but a charade. President Obama’s appointments for Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense both passed but a slew of other cabinet officials are leaving and their replacements must be confirmed by the Senate. The most controversial is John Brennan’s nomination to head the Central Intelligence Agency which is currently stalled in the Senate Intelligence Committee. The NLRB is also a wounded duck—crippled by Republican buckshot. And, Congressional Republicans would like nothing better than to drag these appointments out as long as they can as political spite—reinforcing the notion that they truly are the Party of obstruction.

As far as the Debt Ceiling goes, this is the least of our problems. Even if Congress can avoid a government shutdown, they’ll face a new crisis in late May when the federal government hits its debt limit. The big difference this time is that lawmakers will not get paid unless both the Senate and House also pass a budget. And for the record, we don’t have a spending problem. We have a priority problem. We also have a radical extreme element in the House of Representatives that call themselves the Tea Party that is creating real havoc for hard working American families. They have now proven without a doubt that they hate Obama more than they love America.

-Ove Overmyer
This editorial does not necessarily reflect the opinion of CSEA as an organization.

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