Jackie Gingrich Cushman

By failing to pass a 2011 budget last fall while still in charge of the House, Senate and presidency, the Democratic Party set up the potential for the Democrats to blame the Republicans for what they did not do last year when they controlled all three entities.

How could this happen?

Who is responsible for the U.S. budget? The president? The Senate? The House of Representatives?

The president submits his "budget," but it is only a recommendation, a suggestion or wish list of what the administration would like to see raised and spent.

All bills that raise money through taxes and borrowing and then spend that money must begin in the House of Representatives as outlined in Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution. This is by design. House members are elected every two years. Senators are elected every six years, and the president is elected every four years. Additionally, there are 435 House members, 100 senators and only one president.

The House's more frequent elections combined with the fact that it comprises more members results in it being the government body whose will most closely reflects that of the American people.

The people spoke clearly in the 2010 elections by electing a Republican House of Representatives. This reflects a desire by the people for smaller government and fiscal responsibility.

Reviewing Reality:

The government is facing a potential shutdown because no 2011 budget was passed last year, when it was supposed to be passed. At that time, the Democratic Party controlled the House of Representatives, the Senate and the presidency. The 2011 budget year began Oct. 1, 2010.

Then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama failed last year in their duty to pass the 2011 budget.

They failed the American people.

Was this an inability of the leaders of the party in control (the Democratic Party) to work together and do their job? Or was this a deliberate and strategic play, devised under the specter of the Republicans taking over the House, with the goal of setting up a possible shutdown once that happened?

The last time the government was shut down, the Democrats blamed the Republicans. The time period was Nov. 14-19, 1995, and Dec. 16, 1995, through Jan. 6, 1996. This was the first full year budget of the new Republican Congress, not a budget left by the Democrats as unfinished business, as it is this time.

The 1995 shutdown led to a balanced budget and welfare reform. Good conservative fiscal outcomes of real programs, a win for Republicans. The Democrats won the media spin.

The Republican House Should Consider the Following:

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.