Just a few hours ago House Republicans in Washington successfully avoided a government shutdown - for now - passing a temporary spending bill that will keep the government running for a whopping 45 days. And then we will have to go right back to the insanity of trying to keep the government operating during a major holiday season.
The measure was adopted under a process where usual House rules were suspended. That move required a two-thirds majority to pass.
The passage of the "clean CR" was not without drama. One Democrat moved to adjourn the House until Monday in an effort to give members time to read the bill. There is also the ongoing investigation into Rep. Jamaal Bowman, who is alleged to have pulled a fire alarm at the Cannon Building today in the middle of proceedings.
The Senate is expected to pass the measure, averting a shutdown that would begin at 12:01 a.m. tonight. However, Senate Republicans are currently pushing back against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell when it comes to Ukraine aid, according to NBC News.
Now that the hard news part is out of the way, let me opine as to why this is just one giant cluster f***k and why the entire Western world is looking at us and playing drinking games while watching us attempt to do something as basic as keeping our government running.
The most powerful nation in the world, for now, literally cannot keep its own giant, bloated, and corrupted government running long enough to get the people's business done. As RedState covered previously, with this current bill we found enough money to fund our government for 45 days and keep Ukraine fighting for even longer. How pathetic are we?
But the bigger issue here is that we as a nation have become so dysfunctional that every year or so it seems we are faced with a spending bill crisis that threatens to shut down the government. The US Government has only shut down 10 times in our history, most recently in 2013, 2018, and 2019. In fact, Congress has only passed all their spending bills according to their rules just four times in almost 50 years, and it has been 20 years since Congress passed a budget on time.
I am currently discussing this mind-boggling fiasco with RedState Managing Editor Jennifer Van Laar as we cover the CAGOP Convention in Anaheim, California while keeping an eye on the news; she is laughing at my colorful description of the current situation and heartily agrees. My personal assessment of this bill is that we as a nation are screwed if this is the best we can do.
The entire Congress is to blame. Republicans and Democrats alike are taking this country for a ride that will do nothing but cause chaos and confusion for at least the next several weeks. They have agreed to take this country back to where we are in about a month and a half. That means Republicans will be trying to keep the government running - and U.S. troops and government employees paid - right before Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Democrats will refuse to negotiate, then they'll make Republicans the Grinches who stole Christmas presents from under the trees of the poor government bureaucrats. Our elected representatives have just screwed us over and made us a laughing stock to the rest of the world.
Why is it that Congress cannot get their acts straight? Why is it that we have to be in this position at least once a year, or so it seems? This is beyond frustrating as a taxpayer, and I am sure you feel the same. This pathetic attempt by Congress to prevent a shutdown just delays the inevitable. We are going to be doing this again in 45 days. We've put a stranglehold on ourselves right as we start the holiday season, and we all know how that spells disaster. How far we have come as a nation, that we have to bring ourselves to our knees to keep our government open?
Our government has become so incredibly big that it cannot function without passing continuous spending bills. We haven't passed, let alone introduced, a clean budget plan in years. Instead, we just pass several fat omnibus spending bills or continued spending bills that are merely stop-gap measures. Our federal government is literally morbidly obese, and it shows. Its appetite has become insatiable and rapacious, and the American people are held at gunpoint until it's fed more money.
When will the Republican Party live up to its alleged core mission of being the party of small government? Time and time again, both parties grow the size and power of the federal government, yet we keep voting for these same politicians who stab us in the back with more government spending.
A very close friend of mine, Chuck, told me that we have two political parties that run this country. One stands for big government, and the other stands for bigger government. We all know who those parties are, yet we continue to vote for them because we believe that things will change.
This concludes my rant, and I appreciate you reading this far down. But for the love of all things holy, stop electing people who want to spend your money and feed the beast that is known as the Federal Government.