News & Politics

Lather, Rinse, Repeat: House Passes Stopgap Spending Bill to Avoid Government Shutdown

I think I used this exact same headline the last time that the House passed a Continuing Resolution to keep most of the government functioning beyond a kill date. In fact, I’ll probably be able to use it the next time too.

The point is, all they do is add a few more zeroes to the spending amount of the various departments and promise they’ll make a deal — later. And the issue, as it has been since Trump’s first days in office, is money to construct his beautiful, gorgeous, sexy wall along the southern border that any kid with a hammer and chisel should have no problem breaking through.

It’s political, you see. Trump promised America a wall. Democrats promised America they wouldn’t fund one. The immovable object has met the irresistible force and the result is a stalemate.

The Hill:

Senate Republicans have slammed Democrats for refusing to take up a package of spending bills that included defense, arguing they were denying the troops a pay raise. Democrats blocked the legislation’s consideration over issues relating to the border wall.

The measure passed in the House also extends several controversial government surveillance programs that were set to expire in mid-December by 90 days to allow for further discussion on how to address the security and privacy issues around them.

Several progressives voted against the legislation over their objections to that extension.

“Yeah that’s gonna be a no from me dog,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted regarding the program extensions.

The chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, however, supported the bill, as did the bulk of the caucus.

This is another problem. As long as Congress is hung up about wall spending, vital issues important to all Americans become hostage to one party or another, depending on which one is playing hardball. Defense programs that help defend us are put in limbo and bills that should receive a lot more scrutiny — like the Patriot Act reauthorization — get short shrift.

Government spending being determined at the point of a gun is not wise governance.

The stopgap measure comes just two days before the current shutdown deadline. The Senate is expected to quickly take up and pass the measure, and McConnell said that the White House has signaled Trump’s support.

But while the measure would keep the government open for the next four weeks, some fear a government shutdown could be on the horizon if negotiators don’t come to an agreement soon.

This is ruinously expensive. In order to pass a measure to keep the government operating, Congress adds a flat rate of increase to everything. It’s nuts. Neither party can be blamed so it goes on and on.

Congress is now set to give a great, big, middle-finger Merry Christmas salute to all of us when the government is threatened with running out of money a month from now.

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