We need an Appropriations Pledge for candidates this fall. We need to see members of all parties commit themselves to their voters to pass and send to the White House a series of Appropriations Bills. These bills will keep the government functioning.
Instead of wrapping all appropriations into one of these huge, unwieldy CRs, we need to return to regular order and pass one after another of the bills required to fund various departments of our federal government.
Then, we need to use a constitutionalist majority to promise voters they will get the same delays and exemptions from Obamacare’s individual mandate that this president has given to congressional staffers, to his labor union supporters, and to his pet corporate backers.
More than simply pledge to do this, we need a constitutionalist majority on Capitol Hill that will pass these Appropriations Bills through both houses, sign and engross these bills, and then send them in a motorcade down Pennsylvania Avenue from Congress to the White House.
When these Appropriations Parades reach the White House gates, we will need the Speaker and the President pro Tem of the Senate to formally present these bills to the executive branch for signature.
With 10 of these Appropriations Parades providing all the funds necessary to keep the U.S. Government running, we can emphasize again and again and again that only you, Mr. President, can keep this government from shutting down. Our elected representatives can say: We call upon you, Sir, to sign these bills.
We should have our elected lawmakers speak respectfully to the chief executive and urge him to sign the Appropriations Bills that alone can resolve the crisis we see in Washington.
Thus, the American people will be able properly to assess who is responsible for any shutdowns, or any gridlock. The “consent of the governed” is essential for any free republic. To be effective, that consent must be an informed consent. We cannot rely on a hopelessly biased media to report accurately who is responsible for a stalemate.
But even that biased media will have a hard time ignoring a Parade of Appropriations Bills from Capitol Hill down Pennsylvania Avenue to the very gates of the White House.
In this fashion, we may resolve the continuing crises of Continuing Resolutions. They are oddly named, if you think about it, because they are actually continuing the un-resolution
of our difficulties. These CRs merely kick the can down the road.
We need a new idea. We need a return to Regular Order, a re-establishment of the proper system of Checks and Balances that the Framers of our Constitution so wisely provided. This can be a way for the Body Politic to heal itself.
We Americans are a famously practical people. When we see a machine that isn’t working properly, we often say: Check out the owner’s manual. Well, this government belongs to We the People. And the Constitution is our owner’s manual.