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Behind the Eight Ball

  • funding-update

Just a quick update from Washington on this Tuesday morning. In keeping with traditional government incompetence, we’re rapidly approaching the end of the year – and the end of this term of Congress – with major hurdles that still need to be cleared.

One of those hurdles is government funding. As things stand right now, the federal government is funded only through December 16th.

As many of you know, Congress has a responsibility to craft 12 appropriations bills every year – each one covering a different function of the federal government. Ideally those should be in place before the fiscal year begins in October, but as usual, Congressional leaders and negotiators are way behind the eight ball on this. Meeting the December 16th deadline to keep the government funded is looking more doubtful by the day.

With that in mind, Congress has frequently relied on “continuing resolutions,” which basically extend funding at existing levels (with some exceptions) for a certain period, usually a few weeks or months, until the appropriations bills can be passed.

My guess is there will be another continuing resolution to keep the government running for another week or two beyond the current December 16th deadline. And then right before Christmas, congressional negotiators will somehow figure out a way to bundle together multiple appropriations bills into one massive “omnibus” bill – many thousands of pages long – that nobody will have time to read or understand before we must vote on it.

*** Of course, NOWHERE in this chaos is ANY concern about our deficits and national debt, which all of you should know are my biggest priorities in Congress outside of constituent service.

As I keep saying, it’s all so dysfunctional. What we need in Congress is a renewed focus on proper budgeting and a firm plan to balance the budget within a safe & reasonable amount of time, so that we can start to pay down this atrocious debt.