by Rep. Andy Biggs
In the current atmosphere of acrimony surrounding the failure of Congress to produce a balanced budget, or even an unbalanced budget, it is important to review the facts. The facts are important because the Uniparty, the Swamp, the Establishment, and many media propagandists are engaged in a parade of fearmongering.
Because House Republicans did not timely produce a budget as required by law, “they,” the leaders of the Uniparty, began championing their preferred budget mechanism, the “Continuing Resolution (CR).” We know it is their preferred option because they use it every year.
To make a CR more palatable the creatures from the Swamp threaten a government shutdown, as if a lapse in government appropriations is Armageddon. Democrats claim millions of government dependents will meet their demise when their dependence on government spending is delayed. Republican CR-ers argue that a shutdown is not politically popular.
Through the narrative of fear, our political leaders of the Establishment offer a “painless” solution: meet the CR.
Both parties love the CR. Over the last 25 years, Congress has chosen to forego the normal legislative process, which requires the consideration and passage of twelve (12) spending bills by the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
Over the last 25 years, Congress has passed 130 CRs. That’s an average of five CRs per year. Three times Congress has chosen to fully abrogate its duty and passed a CR that lasted an entire fiscal year.
With the adoration that so many obviously feel toward the use of CRs maybe it should simply pass a ten-year CR and go home. But to do so would magnify the maladies of the current CR regime.
And we only need to look as recently as last year to see the wreckage left behind the CR pattern.
Last year, the use of continuing resolutions allowed the Democrat-led Congress to avoid the requirement of passing spending bills and culminated with a single, bloated, omnibus spending package that was originally predicted to result in deficit spending of $1.7 trillion. Recently, however, the Congressional Budget Office has revised the actual impact of the omnibus bill as a deficit of more than $2 trillion.
And the result of 25 years of lassitude on budget imperatives by Congress has produced a national debt more than $33 trillion, and that debt is growing with increasing velocity. In just a few years, at the current pace, our interest expense will outpace annual defense and military spending. That is, unless we are still funding the Russia-Ukraine War.
On to the parade of fearmongering from the media and Uniparty types. They insist that we must use either one or a series of CRs so that the government will not “shut down.” And why are they so fearful?
They imply that the entire country will fall apart. But beneficiaries of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans VA healthcare will continue to receive their benefits. Planes will continue to fly, and the vast majority of Americans will be unaffected.
Military personnel and federal police will be working, as will all federal employees deemed “essential.” Employees who get paid every two weeks will be paid Friday, September 29, as will those who get paid monthly. If Congress puts its shoulder to the wheel, it can actually finish the statutorily required, 12-bill process before the mid-October employee payments are due.
Without a doubt, however, the Biden Regime will use flexibility to make a lapse in appropriations as painful for the American public as possible. That is what President Obama did in 2013 when he barricaded memorials that were open to the public. And, that is contrary to what President Trump did in 2018 when Trump kept as much of government operations open as possible.
The Biden Regime will purposely make Americans as miserable as it can. Furloughed air traffic controllers and military pay? Sorry, Biden sent that money to sponsor drag shows in a foreign country. Deferring pay to CBP and ICE agents? Sorry, Biden’s using that to subsidize Ukrainian pensions.
A lapse in appropriations will be uncomfortable, and somewhat painful. But it should result in passage of more rational spending bills that afford real security on the border and help alleviate inflationary pressure, which will continue if Congress resorts to a CR.
The question one must resolve is whether continuation of the use of continuing resolutions that have produced our economy-destroying spending deficit and national debt is preferable to ripping the bandage off and experiencing short term pain that ultimately produces a budgetary path that gives us less debt, lower deficits, and a chance at long term economic viability.
I choose long term sustainability over short term rhetoric. Which do you think my colleagues will choose?
– – –
U.S. Congressman Andy Biggs represents Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District and serves on the House Judiciary and House Oversight & Accountability committees.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Andy Biggs” by Andy Biggs.