A strategy of short-term extensions from now until the end of the fiscal year makes no sense. It is the Washington establishment equivalent of a baseball team, down 17-1, deciding to stand at the plate and foul off pitches for the rest of the day.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said the Senate needed more time to consider H.R. 1 – the House spending bill which would cut $61 billion – since it was sent to the Senate on a Saturday. The question of time to consider H.R. 1 is a funny one considering the Senate’s first move after the House passed that legislation was to take a one-week vacation.
Last week, Senator Reid released an alternative that offered only a token $6 billion in cuts. It appears Senator Reid doesn’t have a real plan to cut spending. Enter Joe Biden. As you may recall, President Obama claims “Nobody messes with Joe.” Vice President Biden was tapped by President Obama to broker a deal between the House and Senate on the budget. With two weeks left on the clock until the next budget showdown, what does Joe do? He leaves for a five-day trip to Europe. I guess it’s tough to mess with him there.
There seems to be a pattern developing. In Wisconsin, when Democrats want to stall what Governor Walker is trying to do, they flee. Two weeks ago, faced with a continuing resolution passed by the House of Representatives, the Senate went on vacation. Today, Vice President Biden, tapped with brokering a compromise, leaves for Europe.
The House of Representatives has passed a modest $61 billion in spending cuts. These cuts pale in comparison to $474 billion in spending increases just since 2008. Now is not the time to be fouling off pitches. America demands and deserves bold leadership in Washington.