According to Majority Leader Cantor’s weekly floor calendar there is a vote scheduled for Thursday April 14, 2011 on H.R. 1473: “Making appropriations for the Department of Defense and the other departments and agencies of the Government for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011, and for other purposes” (pdf). There’s a little problem however: we already HAVE such a bill in HR 1363…it was passed in the House after midnight last Friday night/Saturday morning and signed straight away by President Obama. So, inquiring minds want to know…why do we need a second Defense appropriations bill?
I’ll not bother you with all the dead ends you’ll find if you tried (like I did) to follow the amendments and motions and heretofores…it’s a little daunting trying to track a pack of wolves, and you almost never like what you see when you do manage to find their dens. Suffice it to say that H.R. 1363 was signed in order to “close a deal” between the parties on how to deal with the budget for the remainder of the year. The ACTUAL means by which they intend to deal with the budget for the remainder of the year is
hidden buried in H.R. 1473.
Because we actually PAY him to do this stuff… our inimitable Speaker issued a presser regarding the wonder and beauty of this bill HERE (cue Teacher’s voice in the Charlie Brown cartoons), pointing to the CBO report (HERE) which actually contradicts his assertions. Oh yeah…WaPo ain’t too impressed either. Sadly, however, none of it even matters now; we lost this battle before we even got our boots on. The transparency Pelosi promised and never delivered has been replaced by the transparency Boehner promised…which looks an awful lot like Pelosi’s, and it’s a sign of things to come.
I have made my feelings quite clear on this deal so I’ll not bother re-treading them here…but where we are in this early mess called the 112th Congress must be addressed, and it must be addressed now. Right here. Today.
Thomas Paine once said [slightly modified for effect]:
It is the good fortune of many to live distant from the scene of sorrow; the evil is not sufficiently brought to their doors to make them feel the precariousness with which all American property is possessed. But let our imaginations transport us a few moments to
BostonWashington DC; that seat of wretchedness will teach us wisdom, and instruct us forever to renounce a power in whom we can have no trust.
This is, as I said often in my past teaching life, a teachable moment. We’ve known the entrenched and the elite couldn’t be trusted, and we’ve busied ourselves these past 2 & 4 years finding and replacing as many of them as we’ve been able. I think we’ve made great progress. There is much more to be done to be sure; ColdWarrior has a plan and it’s working. Ron Robinson has a plan and it’s working too…and there are many people that are doing many things to build on these (and other) successes. Until their work is finished, however, we have but little choice other than to tally the scorecard and look on to the next battle.
In my perfect world, the vote on H.R. 1473 would fail tomorrow and the leadership would be forced to do their jobs. The Government would be forced to shut down and Congress, along with the President, would come to their senses and do the right thing out of respect for their bosses – the American people. The flaws in my nirvana, however, make such an outcome impractical. They’d suck just as bad patching up THAT mess as they have thus far sucked while making the one we find ourselves in today. At this point we’re safer as a Country by leaving this disaster to the history books and looking ahead to making up for it through Ryan’s budget (which will also get its first floor look tomorrow). Make no mistake; this H.R. 1473 bill should fail, but if we leave it to Boehner, Reid, and Obama to come up with something better then things will only get worse. We’re beyond the point of no return now.
Personally, I think Republicans put a fine Freshmen Class together and I have high hopes for what they may yet accomplish before the next batch gets their turn. They went to Washington with big eyes and high hopes and brought with them the dreams of their constituents and the hope they might make things right again in the People’s house. Well, now they too have learned the hard way that the power brokers aren’t their friends and are not to be trusted. Now they must resign themselves to the fact that their Leadership cannot be trusted, and they really DO have only one choice; listen to the people that sent them to DC and do their bidding.
Losing with your constituents is always better than winning and being wrong.
Better that these folks get this out of the way early…now, perhaps, their jaded eyes will see clearly just how hard doing the People’s business really is when you’re surrounded by cheats and liars and folks with only their own best interests in mind.
I’m praying for them all because I can’t even imagine how they feel right now. Well, actually I can-and it’s not a pleasant feeling.