The Spending Bill and 5 reasons it needs to pass today

The Spending Bill and 5 reasons it needs to pass today

The Spending Bill and 5 reasons it needs to pass today

Congress has a spending bill to vote on today. It is not a full blown, bloated spending bill, but is enough to keep things running through the end of the year and the first half of January.

Here are five political and practical reasons the bill needs to pass for the GOP:
1. To avoid a government shutdown this weekend.

Failure to pass the measure would trigger a government shutdown at midnight Friday, which would amount to a political pratfall just after the GOP scored a major win on a landmark tax bill. With Republicans controlling Washington, they would not have anyone else to blame for a shutdown debacle.

2. This is temporary and the previous temporary fix was too short. Two weeks was given December 8th and expires “>December 22nd. Which means that starting December 23rd there will be a government shutdown until January. People like Air Traffic Controllers will not be allowed to work or be paid. You think that might be a Very Bad Thing on a traveling weekend? I do.

Regardless of how the crisis of the moment will be solved, most of the many items on Capitol Hill’s list of unfinished business are going to be pushed into next year.

3. Not giving the Democrats a win. Politics is fun.

It would delay battles over the budget and immigration into January, denying Democrats wins that they had hoped to score this year.

4. Infighting among the GOP and intractable Democrats.

Democrats are opposing the GOP endgame agenda because their priorities on immigration and funding for domestic programs aren’t being addressed. Opposition from Democrats means Republicans need to find unity among themselves, which once again is proving difficult. In such situations, congressional leaders often turn to lowest common denominator solutions, which in this case would mean a stopgap measure that’s mostly free of other add-ons.

5. 2018 is an election year for 1/3 of the Senate and the House. Somehow the Senate and House needs to bring both sides together to try and at least appear to agree long enough to get things done. Because domestic spending is a big, important issue. Things like disaster relief, healthcare for the poor and vulnerable, and other things that are a Pelosi dream of a soundbite if handled badly. And starting to cut unnecessary spending.

I hope the Senate and House can get something useful done. And can start the process to make the cuts without endangering the poorest and most vulnerable. Not doing anything would be flat out stupid and, frankly, disastrous for all of us. Spending cuts need to happen but this is not a game. Hacking and slashing services is the worst thing we could do.

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