The budget showdown on Capitol Hill has been put on pause.
On Saturday, just hours before the government shutdown deadline, Congress by a bipartisan vote passed a continuing resolution. It passed by a tally of 335-91 in the House and 88-9 in the Senate. President Joe Biden signed the bill on Saturday night.
The bill keeps agencies funded at the current level until Nov. 17, so it’s a short reprieve.
We’ve fortunately been spared the obnoxious “we’ll have to shut the national parks until you give us money” media campaign for at least a little while. I was taking bets on whether they would try to shut down the privately run and funded Mt. Vernon again.
So, a shutdown has been averted, but that hardly means the issues surrounding the continuing resolution and the budget have been resolved.
There was significant opposition to the bill among conservatives in the House and Senate who’ve argued that the current spending is unacceptable and a dereliction of fiscal responsibility.
Several members weighed in on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, even said he will introduce a so-called movement to vacate to potentially depose Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. as the speaker of the House.
This issue isn’t going away and there’s likely going to be another highly contentious congressional fight in the lead up to the November deadline.
The question is, why did so many conservatives in the House and Senate rebelling and oppose the continuing resolution?
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, voted “no” and issued a statement explaining his disgust with the process. He called the continuing the “product of this fundamentally broken Congress that is unwilling to weather a storm in order to deliver real results for the American people.”
Roy explained that the day before he’d voted on a bill that would extend government funding “for 30 days at a 30% reduction for the government bureaucracy while funding the entirety of defense, veterans, and homeland security.”
On top of that, the bill included the “Secure our Border Act,” which included additional provisions for border security.
Instead, we got the same of what we have and what we have isn’t working.
Roy lamented, rightfully, that some House Republicans had some important proposals to get the border crisis under control while bringing spending down to more reasonable numbers. This represented a missed opportunity to do that.
Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., explained why he opposed the legislation on Saturday.
“The bill passed this afternoon contains ZERO cuts to government spending and ZERO prohibitions against Biden administration policies,” he said in a statement. “The only positive about this legislation is that it does not contain the billions in Ukraine supplemental funding Biden requested.”
The continuing resolution delayed $6 billion in Ukraine aid that Biden requested until the next vote.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had similar reasoning for casting a “no” vote.
“Democrats are opposed to spending cuts, or spending limits of any kind, even their own spending limit that they agreed to less than four months ago,” he said in a statement. “This continuing resolution does nothing to address the acute crisis at the Texas-Mexico border, itself created by deliberate Democrat policies. I voted no.”
Our rates of spending and debt remain unsustainable.
In June our debt hit $32 trillion (it’s now at $33 trillion, but what’s a trillion dollars these days), which added up to more than $245,000 per household in this country. If you want to know why the cost of household goods is now astounding and keeps getting worse, it’s not hard to find the culprit. We now have both a debt and inflation crisis on our hands.
This continuing resolution does nothing to change our trajectory. It maintains the status quo and the status quo is failing.
The bill essentially allows the Biden administration to continue its reckless border policies. Biden has proven that he will do nothing to stop the flow of illegal immigrants from flowing into this country. If anything, his policies have simply encouraged more people to come across our border.
Congress has a duty to hold the administration accountable.
This is in part why many Americans have soured on Ukraine war spending, for instance. Why do our leaders prioritize what’s happening around the world over the disaster on our own doorstep? The fact that our government spends an astronomical amount of money on so many things yet fails to protect the sovereignty of the United States is an insult to the American people.
While this budget deal could have been worse, it can’t happen again.
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