You have seen it too many times already. Republicans, failing to even make an attempt at compromise with the Democrats, suddenly decide that whatever it is they’re after is worth just burning everything to the ground over. Their go-to move — for almost four decades now — has been to allow a certain swath of the government to simply shut down if they can’t compromise on funding (or not funding) certain programs when it comes time to pass a federal budget.
It’s been a while since we’ve actually passed a federal budget on time. And when I say “a while,” I mean it’s been more than 20 years since Congress passed all of the required appropriations measures of a federal budget by the beginning of the fiscal year.
But we do seem to be able to pass “continuing resolutions” that keep the doors of the government open until the next showdown between Republicans and Democrats.
This time, however, there’s no budging one way or the other, because the stakes are too high. Donald Trump is demanding billions for a border wall that no one but his racist base wants, and Democrats won’t give it to him. If he gives in, he pisses off his voters, and if Democrats give in, they’re sure to take a hit at the polls as well.
But as it turns out, there’s a group of Republicans who have finally seen the pointlessness of all of that nonsense, and the inherent unfairness of holding government employees — and institutions — hostage to the whims of warring legislators and the President.
From a press release from the desk of Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski comes news of a bill introduced by nine GOP Senators that would prevent government shutdowns altogether, stripping any legislators and the President of the ability to use the budget as leverage in a funding fight over controversial projects or subjects.
The bill, introduced today, is called the End Government Shutdowns Act — relatively straightforward — and is described as a mechanism to “permanently prevent the federal government from shutting down, ensuring that essential government services aren’t disrupted and protecting taxpayers who must bear the resulting cost.”
This will surely infuriate Donald Trump, who has depended on this method essentially since the beginning of his presidency — since almost everything he’s wanted legislatively has been something completely unacceptable to Democrats and moderate Republicans.
Featured image via screen capture