Morning Bell: Harry Reid Chooses Shutdown Over Responsibility
Mike Brownfield /
You would think liberals in Congress have nothing better to do with their time. Amid a war in Libya, an effort to aid earthquake and tsunami-stricken Japan, a continuing war in Afghanistan, rising gas prices and endless unemployment, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and the Democratic leadership in the U.S. Senate are refusing to accept a modest agreement to fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year. And time is running short. What’s Senator Reid wrangling over? A mere $51 billion in additional budget cuts, which amounts to a few days of government deficit spending.
But Reid’s stonewalling isn’t just about dollars and cents, or saving federal funding for a Cowboy Poetry Festival. Reid and the Democrats in Congress are setting the groundwork for a partial government shutdown so they can attempt to lay the blame at the feet of the Tea Party and Republicans in Congress and gain politically. They’re simply putting electoral politics over the business of our nation.
As it stands today, Congress has until April 8 to reach an agreement on a long-term budget through the end of FY 2011, pass another short-term stopgap budget, or face a partial government shutdown. It might seem shocking that our representatives would cut it so close. But to understand how we got here, it’s important to know where we’ve been. (more…)