If you’ve missed it there’s a rush to get a Continuing Resolution passed by the Congress so we don’t shut down the government. (That is viewed by many as a bad thing – though I wonder how much we would miss most of it). But, for purposes of conversation, let’s say it is a bad thing and we want to avoid that.
The media, the Prez, Minority Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader Harry Reid have all laid the blame for this potential shutdown at the feet of the GOP. Despite that, the Senate under the leadership of Sen. Reid failed to produce a budget for three years as they were required to do by law. That makes the Majority Leader’s rhetoric remarkable for its hyperbole.
The fact that the Senate has before them a CR which funds the entirety of the Federal government with the exception of Obamacare – a CR which the Senate will vote down – makes no difference in Reid’s rhetoric. He could move this forward, corral his majority coalition and pass this budget, end of conversation, end of threat of government shutdown. But he won’t.
So it will get sent back to the House and no one is certain of the outcome. We should expect to see the financial markets get roiled until this is resolved. So is there a possible way to avoid this? The good news, there is. In fact, there are two ways to keep the government running, eliminate (or severely cripple Obamacare – Oh Happy Day) and get the GOP not only off the hook but have them come out as the champions of the American people.
The first way would be for the House to dissect the current budget and pass CR’s for each portion with the exception of Obamacare. If the Democrat Senate under Reid’s “leadership” rejected any or all of these, then it would be evident that they, not the GOP were the ones who shut the government down, should that happen.
The second benefit to this approach is that there would be additional transparency in doing this as to what it is that we actually spend taxpayers’ dollars to support. That might be our politicians’ principal objection to this approach. Our legislators don’t want to be too transparent or there might be a taxpayer revolt.
The second approach which would allow the implosion of Obamacare to occur faster than it is already scheduled to do would be to pass the CR including Obamacare with the proviso that no changes, executive orders or exemptions should be allowed and that the law, as the Congress passed it, should be implemented as scheduled.
Once again this lets the GOP off the hook and returns focus to the Democrats who passed this bill originally without a single Republican vote in the dead of night. It is after all their bill and the President’s. Let the country see the disaster that it truly is by implementing it the way they wrote it. There is a second and perhaps more important benefit to this approach.
The Constitution is quite clear about the roles of both the Executive and the Legislative branches of our government. It is the responsibility of the Congress to pass laws. It is the responsibility of the Executive to enforce those laws. Nowhere does the Constitution grant the Executive branch the power to alter the laws that Congress has passed. And that is exactly what has happened, multiple times, with Obamacare. The president has issued at least 13 amendments to this law (waivers) and has no authority to do so.
This administration has used Executive privilege with the liberality that a child in kindergarten changes crayons. It’s time that the Congress stood up for the American people by insisting that they be constrained to the duties given them by the Constitution and are not free to enlarge on those at whim. This administration not only has “Fast and Furious” notched in its holster. Now it’s playing a new game – “Fast and Loose.”
As important as ridding the land of Obamacare is, returning to a country where our politicians carry out their duties in a Constitutional manner is far more important. Otherwise, this most recent example of kabuki theater will only be one in a never ending series of political games. And while I enjoy a good game as much as the next person – I also enjoy at least an occasional glimpse of reality.