Friday, April 1, 2011

Who is at Fault for a Government Shutdown?

With House Majority Leader Eric Cantor basically ruling out another short-term funding resolution, a government shutdown is looking inevitable. The question everyone is asking is “whose at fault?”

In my humble opinion, the Harry Reid controlled Senate is at fault. The House passed a budget in February, which the Senate has failed to pass. However, not only has the Senate failed to pass the House bill, the Senate has failed to pass any budget bill. Through this whole fiasco, the Republican controlled House is the only body which has taken the lead on the budget. The way the budget is supposed to work, is the House will pass a budget, then the Senate will consider it, and either pass it or they will amend it and pass a variation of the budget, and then the two Houses work out a bill that will pass. However, there has been no action, let alone leadership on this issue by either the President or the Senate.

The best plan of action would be for the Senate to pass its own budget, and allow the two Houses to come together in a conference committee to work out the differences. As it is, the Senate leadership and the President have been very cryptic about what they want in a long-term funding bill, and the House is unable to determine what the President and Senate want in a budget because of the lack of leadership. The House can continue to pass stopgap funding bills until pigs fly, but nothing will be done until the Senate steps up to the plate and works with the House to get a funding bill passed.

If no budget is passed, the government will not be able to pay its bills, and all but the essential parts of the government will close.

The Senate Leadership is going to try to blame any shutdown on the House, but in reality, they have no one to blame but themselves. We should call on the Senate to take action to keep the government open and allow the process to work.

Blenn Gertsch

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