A few days ago on Twitter, someone – I don’t remember who or I’d link them – mentioned that John Boehner’s resignation is sort of like that scene in Independence Day, where they task the one fighter pilot with flying right up into the heart of the giant flying saucer that’s sitting over New York, clogging up the spaceships deadly laser beam and basically blowing the aliens back to whatever planet they ravaged before systematically deciding to murder everyone on Earth.
In this case, though, Boehner has undertaken a different kind of self-immolation in service to our country (or, at least, Establishment Republicans looking to deny Ted Cruz . an opportunity to grandstand his way into a spike in the polls), inspiring a continuing resolution that funds the government through December, ensuring that nothing will shut down, Planned Parenthood will remain funded, John Boehner can exist stage left with a win under his belt, and the White House loses a media-favorable talking point big enough to distract from the fact that Russia is bombing our Syrian to smithereens.
Yesterday, both the House and Senate passed a CR which will guarantee funding until the next budget showdown.
Just hours before a midnight deadline, a bitterly divided Congress approved a stopgap spending bill Wednesday to keep the federal government open — but with no assurance there won’t be yet another shutdown showdown in December.
Democrats helped beleaguered House Republican leaders pass the measure by 277-151 — a lopsided vote shrouding deep disagreements within the GOP — after the Senate approved it by a 78-20 tally earlier in the day. The votes sent the bill to President Barack Obama for his signature.
This is, of course, not how the appropriations process is supposed to work, but there’s a breakdown between Congress and the White House over budget. The White House, every year, proposes a budget that averages less than five supportive votes from either party. The Republicans usually have something of a compromise bill, but the White House isn’t interested in anything that isn’t fully their idea, and so refuses to do much other than threaten to veto whatever budget comes to the President’s desk that isn’t the Presidents. With a steep divide in both parties, marshaling bipartisan support is almost impossible and so, every few months, we just elect to put a Band-aid on the whole deal and pretend Congress is doing their job.
The nice part? The President’s bizarre budget never gets past. The problem? Every few months we have to have a non-serious discussion about funding the government, which often means a threatened shutdown, which means fundraising opportunities for both parties. Which, of course, means the incentive is to keep the weird CR process rolling. And then everyone wonders why Congress has an approval rating below that of herpes.
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