It's that time of year again, when lawmakers have spent the summer doing nothing (seriously - they were off for seven straight weeks!!
over the summer) and come back to find that - oops - we are once again
about to run out of money. So - once again
- they are grudgingly opening the purse strings to fund the government for the next two months
. Yes, they've spent the month of September arguing about funding the government for 2 months - when they'll have to do it all over again in November. Why not allocate spending for an entire year? Maybe because the elections are just over a month away?
Anyway - the bill was voted down by Democrats because it did not contain funding to help Michigan with its poison water crisis
. The Dems rightfully argued that red-state Louisiana got flood relief funding for rain flooding that occurred a month ago, and Flynt's water woes have been ongoing for a year. McConnell said they would provide the funding in a separate bill AFTER the election, but really - are we supposed to trust him? I certainly wouldn't, and kudos to Reid for standing up to him.
Meanwhile, over in the House, the Republicans are taking this a little more seriously (how's that
for an episode of Freaky Friday?), and are putting together an amendment with the Flynt money included
. The catch here is that it is for a Water Resources Development Act bill that won't get passed through until the lame-duck session. In other words - it won't be in the emergency spending bill. The concern is that the amendment or the bill itself gets bastardized between now and then, and Flynt has to wait another 2 months for help.
There are so many things wrong with this. At the very core - is this any way to run the country? Why are we cobbling together emergency spending bills every few months to keep the government limping along? It's governance by ongoing crisis. It's also created a vehicle for riders and amendments and all the "pork barrel spending" that politicians deride from the stump, and then lard onto these spending bills. They also use them as political weapons, adding "poison pill" amendments to ensure the opposition has to vote for or veto a bill that on the surface looks helpful, just so they can criticize them for it in campaign ads.
Add to that the adoration of "first responders" (the en vogue
term for firefighters, EMTs and police), and all the "thoughts and prayers" that go out to the victims of natural (and man-made) disasters, juxtaposed against their refusal to provide funds for the recovery and rebuilding of the communities of these people (the victims AND the First Responders). This seems to especially be the case for "blue state" areas (NY, NJ, MI), with funding always seemingly available for red states (LA, FL, OK, TX). Did the Dems do the reverse of that when they were in power? No.
Finally, if we look back at that Senate calendar, it's shocking how little they actually work, for as much as they make, and for as little as they want to do to help those who need it most. Poor people vote too, unless they can't get off work to do it (something the Republicans try to do at the state level - making voting difficult). They complain about spending and raising the minimum wage (while giving themselves raises), and are loathe to help blue states, even though that's where most of the federal tax dollars come from. There's word for people like that...
Stingy, lying, hypocritical, devious, deplorable bastards.
Okay, that's more than one word.