Sunday, September 6, 2015

It Takes Two To Shut Down the Government

When the Congress and the President disagree there is an automatic assumption of the news media that the Congress should capitulate.  The President has come to expect that.  But why?

Inevitably the so-called "shutdown" crisis arises because the President has vetoed or has threatened a veto of a Congressional action or has encouraged a minority of the US Senate to block Congressional action with a filibuster.  It takes two to tango.  It also takes two to shut down the government.

The Congress should call the President's bluff and proceed to a government shutdown.  If the President refuses to budge, let him.  Sooner or later, the government is going to be forced to shut down anyway as medicare and social security funding overwhelms the ability of the government to stay afloat.  It is just a matter of time.  One way or another a government shutdown is in our future.

The Constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to originate government spending bills -- not the President, not the US Senate.  The House should simply pass a budget, pass the budget in the Senate and then let the President do whatever he wants.  If he wants to shut down the government, he can veto the budget.  Let him and then let him answer for the shutdown. 

If a filibuster blocks action on a House-passed budget in the Senate, effectively preventing a vote on a House-passed budget, then let it.  Let those who filibuster answer for shutting down the government.

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