Continuing resolution not so continuing

posted at 10:05 am on September 22, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

Here we go again.

After the bruising battle of the debt ceiling debate left public opinion of both parties in Congress a bit worse for wear, the House of Representatives managed to not pass a continuing resolution to fund the operation of the government past the end of the month.

A stopgap spending bill to keep the government funded past Sept. 30 collapsed in the House late Wednesday in a return of the same brinkmanship politics that so soured voters on Congress in the debt fight over the summer.

Republicans lost 48 of their own members on the 230-195 vote, even as Democrats took advantage of the GOP’s vulnerability by pulling back their support in protest of spending cuts affecting the auto industry.

There is a common and completely understandable impulse among much of the base to break out in applause whenever Republicans lay down in front of the tanks in terms of spending. Further, there are obviously some in the progressive base, still smarting from losing the majority in 2010 and the drubbing they took in the debt ceiling fight, who want to see their leaders in the House poke a finger in John Boehner’s eye whenever the opportunity presents itself. For people on both sides, if I could borrow a phrase from Larry David, you might want to curb your enthusiasm in this case.

This continuing resolution is strictly Off Broadway stuff. The real battle is taking place on the big stage of the super committee, and that’s where we’ll find out how serious Congress is about setting the nation’s fiscal house in order. Turning this continuing resolution into a sideshow may provide a short term sugar rush for some, but the American public seems to be growing tired of this schtick.

Some of the Republicans appear ready to die on a hill which represents $24B out of a pie which is well in excess of a trillion. And those figures will likely vanish in a puff of smoke once the super committee gets close to the finish line anyway. The bone of contention appears to be a few billion in disaster relief which they want to offset, in part, with cuts to a largely idle pool of funds for an advanced technology program for the auto industry. It’s a program which Democrats will falsely, but probably successfully paint as a jobs initiative.

The GOP may want to keep in mind that you’re making an argument against disaster relief, at least in the public’s mind. And against a jobs initiative. You still need to get elected again next year, folks.

As for the Democrats, you’re playing too close to the power lines again. The programs getting a trim right now are just a shadow of what’s to come. The times aren’t just changing… they’ve already changed. We’re going to be spending a lot less money going forward and this is the sort of bitter pill you’d best get used to swallowing.

But if the two parties insist on turning this into another round of Theater of the Bizarre, things are only going to get uglier among the masses. If you can’t come together for a short term piece of nominal housekeeping work, people are going to be questioning if you have the capacity to get anything done. What’s next? Will one party begin boycotting the quorum call until the housekeeping staff starts buying cheaper vacuum cleaner bags?

The House is supposed to be in recess next week for Rosh Hashanah, so something needs to get done by the weekend. This would probably be a good time to step back, take a deep breath, get your work finished quietly and prepare for the larger battle to come.

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An auto slush fund?

Count to 10 on September 22, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Why do these kids keep waiting until the night before to do their book reports? They knew this was coming? Why? WHY!

Laura in Maryland on September 22, 2011 at 10:10 AM

The Super Committee is supposed to deliver its report on November 23. Why not pass a CR for two months (until November 30) at current spending levels (no increases) and give the Super Committee time to do its job, and no more?

Steve Z on September 22, 2011 at 10:11 AM

They are all incompetent.

Cindy Munford on September 22, 2011 at 10:12 AM

A shutdown government is by definition a small government.

meci on September 22, 2011 at 10:12 AM

We’re in the dumbest of hands.

Bishop on September 22, 2011 at 10:12 AM

The House is supposed to be in recess next week for Rosh Hashanah, so something needs to get done by the weekend.

Isn’t that supposed to be a “day of atonement”? Could they atone for their overspending by passing a CR ?

Steve Z on September 22, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Clean the house and senate, is a good bumper sticker for next year

Don L on September 22, 2011 at 10:13 AM

UGH!

gophergirl on September 22, 2011 at 10:13 AM

A CR wouldn’t be necessary if they would just pass a FY2012 budget on time as constitutionally required.

DoS_Conservative on September 22, 2011 at 10:13 AM

I read the resolution included funding for ZeroCare, so I’m gald they stopped it.

dogsoldier on September 22, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Boehner could not be reached for comment – he was playing golf.

jake-the-goose on September 22, 2011 at 10:19 AM

The real battle is taking place on…blah blah blah.

I’ve heard over and over again “forget about your principles on this…the REAL battle is…” and when that ‘real’ battle comes the GOP caves on it. I understand choosing your battles, but the GOP has choosen not to fight so many times that when the time to fight comes they are too out of shape to compete.

It’s how you act in the little things that form habits and these habits lead to success in the big things. The GOP is in the habit of bending over, and until they break that habit by standing firm in the small things, they will never be in top form when the ‘real’ battle needs to be won.

miConsevative on September 22, 2011 at 10:21 AM

This continuing resolution is strictly Off Broadway stuff. The real battle is taking place on the big stage of the super committee, and that’s where we’ll find out how serious Congress is about setting the nation’s fiscal house in order.

Absolutely wrong. That useless ‘super committee’ is talking about spending 10 years from now. It is a total fraud setup as a distraction from the real problem.

Boehner and the Democrats are now voting together on everything. Boehner has decided he no longer cares about his own caucus. Boehner has become a useless Democratic tool.

Look for Boehner, and his establishment republicans, to simply cave in and spend like the democrats. Kinda makes you wonder WHY would ANYONE send money to the RNC doesn’t it? You might as well send it to the democrats and hope for a nice Solyndra style kickback!

Freddy on September 22, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Boehner could not be reached for comment – he was playing golf.

jake-the-goose on September 22, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Not exactly golfing this time…

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/183047-house-leaders-to-honor-rangel-nine-months-after-censure

artist on September 22, 2011 at 10:23 AM

interesting how they are all campaigning for pink-slips… we can oblige them of that request simple enough

gatorboy on September 22, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Let’s see the progressive caucus wants $7 billion in disaster relief, SEVEN BILLION, with no offsets. And we should go for it?
I would love to know the details of where some of these seven billion the Dems want so much are going. Is this a Obama election disaster relief bill?

Viator on September 22, 2011 at 10:28 AM

We wouldn’t be in this predicament if the senate actually passed a budget

cmsinaz on September 22, 2011 at 10:28 AM

“…work to be done”? Those leeches have never done a day’s work in their lives. You know what will save this country? Term Limits…. but it will be a cold day in Hell.

ultracon on September 22, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Oooopsie someone beat me to it

cmsinaz on September 22, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Boehner wouldn’t have such a hard time “herding his cats” if he fed them in the first place.

He’s repeatedly come back to the GOP Freshman with compromises that SUCK. He’s repeatedly stated that certain things would be done – like $100B in cuts to this year’s budget – and then gone into the White House and given them away to Obama.

How much do you expect the GOP Freshmen to take, Jazz?

A leader has to LEAD. He’s got to gain the loyalty of his troops – Boehner hasn’t.

So if Boehner can’t get a continuing resolution through – well, then it’s his own fault – because he’s asked the GOP to compromise TOO MUCH … on TOO MANY occasions.

HondaV65 on September 22, 2011 at 10:29 AM

The House is supposed to be in recess next week for Rosh Hashanah

I blame the Jooooos.

Isn’t that supposed to be a “day of atonement”? Could they atone for their overspending by passing a CR ?

Steve Z on September 22, 2011 at 10:13 AM

That’s Yom Kippur, which falls on Saturday, Oct. 8.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on September 22, 2011 at 10:34 AM

You are actually think the Super Committee will cut spending? LOL LOL,
There will be NO REAL CUTS that will come out of the S.C. They will also pass the Defense Fix if the Trigger actually happens.

BroncosRock on September 22, 2011 at 10:34 AM

So if Boehner can’t get a continuing resolution through – well, then it’s his own fault – because he’s asked the GOP to compromise TOO MUCH … on TOO MANY occasions.

HondaV65 on September 22, 2011 at 10:29 AM
YOU are SO RIGHT, HONDA.

mobydutch on September 22, 2011 at 10:35 AM

The Republicans are stupid, period. If I were them, I would have put the word out, in August, that they wouldn’t consider a continuing resolution without a budget from the Senate and/or the President and then would only continue it if they couldn’t reconcile it. That way, the onus for the whole thing would be on the Democrats.

To constantly play these games when the time is near is just playing into the Democrats hands. They really need to think these things through and do the right thing for the American people and show that the Democrats aren’t. Stop playing these silly little games with a little money, when you’re going to lose, and look at the big picture.

bflat879 on September 22, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Isn’t that supposed to be a “day of atonement”? Could they atone for their overspending by passing a CR ?

Steve Z on September 22, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Isn’t that supposed to be a “day of atonement”? Could they atone for their overspending by passing a CR committing Seppuku on the Capital steps?

FIFY!!!!

belad on September 22, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Should be Capitol, not Capital…sorry.

belad on September 22, 2011 at 10:46 AM

The bone of contention appears to be a few billion in disaster relief which they want to offset, in part, with cuts to a largely idle pool of funds for an advanced technology program for the auto industry. It’s a program which Democrats will falsely, but probably successfully paint as a jobs initiative.

Knowing full well that this proposal would never pass muster in the Senate or be signed by this current President, I’m a bit perplexed on why Boehner and the House Republicans even brought this to the floor for a vote. Some one’s going to have to explain to me what the “positive narrative” would be for the conservative cause. Specifically, going directly after the auto industry makes no sense to me at this time—even if it’s rightfully justifiable to go after the green energy subsidies with these offsets—where’s “the beef” in this strategy?

Rovin on September 22, 2011 at 10:47 AM

artist on September 22, 2011 at 10:23 AM

This is leadership?

Oh and Jazz: You kind of glossed over the auto part. It is $1.5 billion for electric battery/auto subsidies. I propose since the regime pissed away at least the half billion part already on Solyndra we take that out.

arnold ziffel on September 22, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Steve Z: Perhaps one reason they shouldn’t pass a continuing resolution at current funding levels is because that’s annually $1.5T of spending we don’t have. 2 months of that is $250B that we don’t have.

Jazz: I think you’re completely wrong. If the GOP leadership won’t support conservative fiscal policy (which this isn’t), then they deserve to be wiped out next November.

Scott H on September 22, 2011 at 10:52 AM

So if Boehner can’t get a continuing resolution through – well, then it’s his own fault – because he’s asked the GOP to compromise TOO MUCH … on TOO MANY occasions.

HondaV65 on September 22, 2011 at 10:29 AM

It’s so very frustrating, isn’t it? I had high hopes for Boehner but it looks like I was being overly optimistic yet again. The old school R’s are so afraid of a government shutdown, and the Democrats are understandably ruthless about forcing one.

I predict we’ll have to raise the debt ceiling yet again before the election. That will be the checkmate that Democrats will use to mobilize the vote. “Republicans want to cut off foodstamps/SS/welfare/unemployment/whatever and if you vote for us, we won’t let them!” Do they really seem to care that the economy is in the toilet and record numbers of people are on government assistance? They depend on it as an election strategy.

Mord on September 22, 2011 at 10:53 AM

The Republicans are stupid, period. If I were them, I would have put the word out, in August, that they wouldn’t consider a continuing resolution without a budget from the Senate and/or the President and then would only continue it if they couldn’t reconcile it. That way, the onus for the whole thing would be on the Democrats.

To constantly play these games when the time is near is just playing into the Democrats hands. They really need to think these things through and do the right thing for the American people and show that the Democrats aren’t. Stop playing these silly little games with a little money, when you’re going to lose, and look at the big picture.

bflat879 on September 22, 2011 at 10:42 AM

This is “a sharp” observation, and I’m in total agreement. I can’t for the life of me understand what Boehner and the House Republicans are up to when most of us see this as a waste of time playing these stupid games.

Rovin on September 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Meh. None of this really matters, it’s all just rearranging deck chairs.

We’re riding an exponential spending curve and we are powerless to stop it. The most we’ve ever done over the decades is add a little noise to that curve, but the spending levels always snap back to the exponential function. The dynamic that’s generating that curve is baked in to the system.

ZenDraken on September 22, 2011 at 11:05 AM

This is “a sharp” observation, and I’m in total agreement. I can’t for the life of me understand what Boehner and the House Republicans are up to when most of us see this as a waste of time playing these stupid games.

Rovin on September 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Agreed. The same thing should have happened with the debt ceiling debate. The House passed CC&B and should have stopped there until the Senate came back with something. Instead, the House gets something passed, Dingy Harry holds his breath and stomps his feet then the House passes 4 more bills until Harry gets what he wants and the House gets all the blame.

Boehner is an idiot.

miConsevative on September 22, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Ya know, it wouldn’t hurt much for the Pubbie majority to start chanting “Pay Go” “Pay Go” and rub the Dems’ noses in it; and reminding the public that those $5000 UAW signing bonuses and the $15 Billion GM & Chrysler still owe the taxpayers would easily offset the extra moola needed for disaster relief – let alone the Solyndra hoax. Typical Dem ploy – disaster relief is an “emergency” – everything they don’t have money for is an “emergency” – but they continuously refuse to cut the fat out of other spending programs. Will the public ever wake up?!??!

Bob in VA on September 22, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Time for a new Speaker. Period.

Sporty1946 on September 22, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Some of the Republicans appear ready to die on a hill which represents $24B out of a pie which is well in excess of a trillion.

Well, how do you think we got into this fiscal mess in the first place? A couple billion at a time, year after year after year after year – and program after program after program after program. Are the only permissible controls those that apply to hundreds of billions of dollars?

This mess has been building since long before Stockman’s famous “a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon we’re talking about real money” from back in the Reagan days. We grew this thing a couple billion at a time; why is it non-serious to cut it a couple billion at a time?

This blog post justifies the mindset of never cutting. I’m astonished to read something like this here.

ss396 on September 22, 2011 at 11:20 AM

And our government makes another trip to the payday advance store.

Wonderful.

Jason Coleman on September 22, 2011 at 11:32 AM

…pulling back their support in protest of spending cuts affecting the auto industry.

This statement alone reveals how far we have fallen.

WitchDoctor on September 22, 2011 at 11:39 AM

The Super Committee is supposed to deliver its report on November 23. Why not pass a CR for two months (until November 30) at current spending levels (no increases) and give the Super Committee time to do its job, and no more?

Steve Z on September 22, 2011 at 10:11 AM

The FY 2012 CR was to last through November 18th. Spending levels were set lower than FY 2011 spending (debt ceiling agreement levels) but not at the much lower level of the FY 2012 Ryan budget.

youngTXcon on September 22, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Boehner wouldn’t have such a hard time “herding his cats” if he fed them in the first place.

He’s repeatedly come back to the GOP Freshman with compromises that SUCK. He’s repeatedly stated that certain things would be done – like $100B in cuts to this year’s budget – and then gone into the White House and given them away to Obama.

How much do you expect the GOP Freshmen to take, Jazz?

A leader has to LEAD. He’s got to gain the loyalty of his troops – Boehner hasn’t.

So if Boehner can’t get a continuing resolution through – well, then it’s his own fault – because he’s asked the GOP to compromise TOO MUCH … on TOO MANY occasions.

HondaV65 on September 22, 2011 at 10:29 AM

(1) It was a mix of veteran lawmakers and some freshmen.

(2) Boehner has a better relationship with many of the freshmen than he does with some of these veteran lawmakers.

youngTXcon on September 22, 2011 at 12:01 PM

I’m sorry, but at this time any vote against more spending, without cuts to existing spending, is a good vote. I do not care what the program is or how deserving the recipients are – no new spending.

The GOP may want to keep in mind that you’re making an argument against disaster relief, at least in the public’s mind. And against a jobs initiative. You still need to get elected again next year, folks.

No, this was a vote against new spending, Jazz. Not a vote for disaster relief or another jobs initiative. Period.

Until congress fixes it’s problem with spending, I will not support any new spending and I’m burning up every line of communication with my Senators and Representative at every opportunity to tell them this.

That includes Continuing Resolutions. There must be (by law) a budget passed, no more half measures!

jackal40 on September 22, 2011 at 12:34 PM

blah…. Senate hasn’t budged in 2 years on a budget, why not focus the lasers on them some more?

maineconservative on September 22, 2011 at 12:39 PM

The disaster relief was offset by cuts to other programs, which is why the Democrats ultimately refused to help pass it.

youngTXcon on September 22, 2011 at 12:40 PM

…That includes Continuing Resolutions. There must be (by law) a budget passed, no more half measures!

jackal40 on September 22, 2011 at 12:34 PM

The CR gives the House and Senate more time to finish the concurrent resolution on the budget.

youngTXcon on September 22, 2011 at 12:41 PM

jackal40 on September 22, 2011 at 12:34 PM

The CR gives the House and Senate more time to finish the concurrent resolution on the budget.

youngTXcon on September 22, 2011 at 12:41 PM

ETA: Obviously the budget should be finished by now and Congress (namely the Senate) is violating the timetable put forward under law. However, it appears that we will, in fact, ultimately see Congress put forward a budget but it will (obviously) be late.

youngTXcon on September 22, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Where is the line for the white flags? Why do people who advocate folding always try to couch in multidemensional chess? Vote your principles and be done with it.

Yes, this is the hill I want to die on.

Hongqi on September 22, 2011 at 2:45 PM

“Turning this continuing resolution into a sideshow may provide a short term sugar rush for some, but the American public seems to be growing tired of this schtick.”

So, we need to stop wasting our time worrying about overspending so we can instead concentrate on stopping this horrible overspending. Sure, Jazz. That makes perfect sense.

GalosGann on September 22, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Did you just say fiscal conservatives would die in vain over $24 billion? So far, there have been 21 fatalities of American servicemen this month alone in Afghanistan, but you take the time to remind the great unwashed that their political elites “still need to get elected again next year, folks.” Well pass the Beltway gold plated toothpicks as the connected feast on skimmed “disaster relief” and “jobs initiatives” while belching carbon credits.

Have you no shame? Let appeasers feast upon my corpse too before I call the destruction of Constitutional liberty and advancing debt enslavement of my children “nominal housekeeing work.” One supposes you also consider it “short term” that one state enforces purchase of a product for their residents to be legal despite them being free born citizens of the United States of America. How very States Rights circa 1860s.

“Prepare for the larger battle” you say? I suggest you find a moral compass and spine now before you jump into my foxhole.

FeFe on September 22, 2011 at 4:36 PM

We’re going to be spending a lot less money going forward and this is the sort of bitter pill you’d best get used to swallowing.

I know you’re not this naive Jazz. Please stop acting like it.

runawayyyy on September 22, 2011 at 5:48 PM

The GOP should be taking every opportunity on budget votes to ratchet back spending.

Make a deal with the Dems to “cut” $20B. But, in a month, cut $20B more, and repeat. Dare the Dems to shut down the Government over $20B.

Cut $20B here, $20B there, and pretty soon you are talking real money.

mockmook on September 22, 2011 at 6:26 PM

Agreed. The same thing should have happened with the debt ceiling debate. The House passed CC&B and should have stopped there until the Senate came back with something. Instead, the House gets something passed, Dingy Harry holds his breath and stomps his feet then the House passes 4 more bills until Harry gets what he wants and the House gets all the blame.

Boehner is an idiot.

miConsevative on September 22, 2011 at 11:07 AM

He caved then and will probably cave again. How do we get a new Speaker of the House? I’m thinking of Jim Jordan.

bluefox on September 22, 2011 at 7:26 PM

A CR wouldn’t be necessary if they would just pass a FY2012 budget on time as constitutionally required.

DoS_Conservative on September 22, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Ditto. How about doing your jobs instead of passing resolutions for national fat free yogurt day or whatever?

cobrakai99 on September 22, 2011 at 8:29 PM

A week???!!! A WEEK?!? They JUST came back to work after their Summer vacations, and now they take a WEEK for a Jewish New Year celebration???!!! Are you freaking kidding me?!?! This pampered elites BS needs to STOP NOW!

KMC1 on September 22, 2011 at 8:30 PM

I’m beginning to believe the commenters, who want John Boehner replaced as Speaker of the House, are correct. The problem is, it could be too late. Obviously, he’ll stay until the next election, well the next election could see the Democrats get back the House.

Let’s face it, I can’t say to someone who’s on the fence, they should vote for the Republicans because the Republicans have only been able to cut spending at the margins, which isn’t why they were elected.

If they’re lucky enough to be elected in numbers that give them the majority again, I hope they seriously think of replacing John Boehner because he’s put on a good show but hasn’t delivered. Anyone who believes he got all he could from all the negotiating he did hasn’t paid attention, which is probably what he’s hoping for.

Just the fact there is another continuing resolution coming up next week, in my opinion, shows a complete lack of leadership. Tell the Senate, you have our budget, deal with it or send us your ideas, but there will be no CR from us without something from you.

bflat879 on September 22, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Boehner and his elitist cronies need to be defeated and run out of town on a rail. The elite GOP only empowers morons like Reid and odumbo.

ultracon on September 23, 2011 at 9:58 AM