Continuing Resolution – Senate Amendment to HR 5325 – Fiscal Year 2017: YES
Senate Amendment to HR 5325 – Fiscal Year 2017 Continuing Resolution: YES. This bill avoids a government shutdown on October 1st by extending current spending authority through December 9th. This is the WORST way to fund the government, because it fails to exercise congressional oversight through the budget and appropriations bills. Unfortunately, sincere but poorly reasoned opposition from the “Freedom Caucus” blocked adoption of the budget this year and doomed legislative efforts to exercise that oversight. Now we have the Hobson’s choice of continuing spending at current levels or shutting down the government on the eve of a presidential election. Ironically, some conservatives who urged defeat of the budget now oppose the continuing resolution (CR) that has resulted from their opposition. They are correct to note that it fails to exercise oversight and spends too much. Yet, oddly, their solution is a much longer CR that carries these bad practices half-way through the next fiscal year!
I normally share conservative skepticism of lame duck legislating, but the election of Donald Trump would dramatically change the lame duck dynamic. This stopgap makes that prospect more likely by preventing a national fiscal crisis from disrupting and distracting from the election. In short, this is the least damaging of the alternatives we currently have and it pains me that some of my conservative friends can’t see that.