Friday, August 3, 2012

Congress Agrees to Keep Government in Business Until March 31, 2013

But Cannot Act Until After Its Vacation – A Six Week Vacation

It has now become a tradition for the Congress to create a short term crisis every October 1 by threatening to not approve any government spending when the new fiscal year (yes it starts October 1) begins.  But even Congress recognizes that shutting down the government, or even threatening a shut down is bad politics.  So in an election year the Congressional leaders agree to postpone everything until after everyone is safely re-elected.

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid have reached a short-term spending deal that would remove the possibility of a government shutdown from the politically sensitive fall campaign season, the two announced Tuesday.

Under the agreement, Congress would agree to fund the government for six months when the fiscal year expires Sept. 30, setting agency spending for the year at $1.047 trillion.

Of course this doesn’t mean every looming fiscal crisis will be pushed back to next March, just that one of them will.  See the temporary tax cuts expire December 31 and also some time during that  period the debt ceiling will have to be raised, so right after the election with a lame duck Congress there will be a tremendous battle that could well shut down the government and cause the U. S. to default on its debt. 

But none of that seems to worry the Congress, after all that will also be after the election, and no one should worry that Congress will be too tired to act.

While Reid announced the deal Tuesday afternoon, he said more time was needed to draft it into legislation and it will not face votes in the House and Senate until September, after Congress returns from a six-week recess.

Yes, that’s right, Congress gets a nice six week paid summer vacation, just like every other hard working American.  Except of course the unemployed, they are getting unlimited vacation, just not the ‘paid’ part.

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