Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

September 19, 2012

Is anyone really in charge in Washington?


Sept. 19, 2012 — Here we go again!

The Democrats who control the U. S. Senate have not passed a single appropriations bill for the new federal fiscal year starting Oct. 1.

The Republicans who control the U.S. House managed to pass seven of the 12 money-spending bills sent to the floor by the House Appropriations Committee.

Fortunately, that committee is led by our congressman, Hal Rogers, who knows more about the federal budgeting process than any of his colleagues in either chamber.

Continuing his vital role as the voice of reason on fiscal matters, Rogers stepped up last week and directed the passage of a temporary funding bill, House Joint Resolution 117, to keep the federal government operating through March 27, 2013.

The House approved the measure on a vote of 329-91 and sent it to the Senate which must take action by Sept. 30 to avoid a partial shutdown of the government.

That resolution provides $1.047 trillion (with a “T”) in discretionary spending at the current rate of operations for federal agencies.

Specifically listed is funding for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund, to finance relief and recovery following disasters.

The continuing resolution makes minimal changes to fiscal year 2012 spending levels, except in cases that would cause “catastrophic, irreversible, or detrimental changes to government programs”.

If you’re wondering what all of that means, it says that our men and women in uniform will get paid and have the ammunition and other supplies they need.

It says that the U. S. Border Patrol, the FBI and the DEA will stay on the job and that Social Security payments will continue.

Congressman Rogers said of the House’s action:

“This CR is a good-faith effort to provide limited but fair funding for government programs. It fulfills the responsibility of Congress to maintain the continuity of our government and its vital programs and services – for our people, nation, and for the stability of our economy.”

He continued:

“We must return to passing critical funding legislation the way the Constitution intended – as individual, regular appropriations bills that provide oversight of government programs and respond to our national needs and financial realities.”

Amen, Hal! That’s telling it like it is.

In our view, the partisan gridlock in Washington must be broken by putting one of the two political parties in control of the White House and both houses of Congress.

And we don’t care which party wins because, at this point, no one seems to be in charge.