Normally, people take vacations only after making sure that they are fully caught up on their work. Not in Washington DC, however. The House may call it quits as early as this Friday, taking an early recess in order to allow members to campaign in their home districts, assuming any of them have the nerve to show their faces:
House leaders are considering adjourning as early as the end of this week, which would give lawmakers five and a half weeks to campaign before the Nov. 2 election but could also leave them exposed to allegations that they didn’t finish their work in Washington.
The House hasn’t adjourned before Sept. 30 in an election year since 1960.
Well, maybe this Congress has been the best one in 50 years … right? Er, no. Not only has the 111th Session of the House failed to produce a budget for the fiscal year starting in nine days, they haven’t even produced the necessary budget resolutions that precede the appropriations. Instead, they’re trying to get a continuing resolution passed to keep government operating for a few weeks while Democrats attempt to convince voters that this amounts to leadership.
Who do they blame for this problem? Guess:
There’s been no decision made yet, and insiders caution that the scenario is dependent upon the Senate and House completing action on a stopgap spending bill to keep government agencies running through the election. But a House leadership aide said they are working with the Senate to pass the spending measure, known as a continuing resolution, “as soon as possible, so we’ll see if Republicans expose how extreme they are to the American people by standing in the way (of the measure) and risking shutting down the government.”
Let’s have a small reality check here. Democrats have a 77-seat majority in the House and an 18-seat majority in the Senate. On budget matters, the filibuster does not exist; remember “reconciliation”? Republicans have no means to stand in the way of Democrats on continuing resolutions or budgets.
The only reason Democrats haven’t produced a budget is political cowardice. They will either have to cut spending, raise taxes, or see an enormous budget deficit in FY2011. They don’t want to cut spending, and voters will send them into the wilderness for a generation if they hike taxes before the midterms. They want to wait until the elections are over to hike taxes and show yet another massive deficit.
This session of Congress should definitely go away. It should also never come back.