Congress is racing toward another potential government shutdown this fall, but this is the last thing you will hear lawmakers talking about with their constituents this August recess.
Why? Congress is wedded to a system of crisis budgeting, whereby members from both parties annually abandon the regular appropriations process in favor of short-term extensions to keep the government funded.
Ultimately, these “stopgap” measures set Congress up for the eleventh-hour spending battles that result in bad deals and higher spending.
This year has been no exception. But Congress has an opportunity to mitigate the loss to taxpayers by rejecting another massive spending package preferred by the House minority whip, U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD).
Referring to the prospect of an omnibus spending bill during the upcoming “lame duck” session of Congress, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) told Morning Consult that lawmakers can strike a better deal for taxpayers by enacting a continuing resolution that funds the government into next year.
“Congress should not be making another long-term spending deal with President Obama and Harry Reid,” said Jordan. “Taking away that leverage by passing a CR into March is something that Republicans should consider.”
What Jordan and a growing chorus of lawmakers understand is that another disastrous omnibus bill lacks transparency and accountability, and will ultimately help accelerate a future debt crisis with higher spending. Especially one passed by a lame-duck Congress and signed by a lame-duck president.
By adopting a long-term continuing appropriations plan like Stop, Cut & Fix, which calls for a two-year spending bill that locks in spending cuts agreed to in the Budget Control Act of 2011, Congress can keep the business of funding our government in the hands of lawmakers who are accountable to taxpayers—not those headed into retirement.
Stop, Cut & Fix will rightly put an end to the cycle of crisis budgeting, while at the same time ensure taxpayers finally receive the savings they were promised by Congress.