The month of September means the return of Congress, and some hefty chores. By the end of this month, by the Constitution, both chambers of Congress must have passed a federal budget for the upcoming fiscal year, passed a new Farm Bill for the upcoming year, and begin preparing legislation that will be discussed throughout the session.
At least that’s what is supposed to happen.
Already however, talking with members of both chambers, it is clear none of these will happen. With a divided Congress and leadership from each chamber, very little is getting done in terms of progress and duties. And like the past 15 years (since Obama), we’ll see a continuing resolution for the budget while we bicker about how quickly we can bankrupt the nation, and extend our current Farm Bill while we decide how many more billions we will sink into food stamp programs.
And for the first time in my life I may say this delay is a good thing.
When it comes to the budget, as we talk about often on the radio program, we need to find elected officials willing to put a foot down and say “NO” to a single dollar increase in the budget. Period. No more “long term direction”, or “incremental steering away” from the cliff.
We are off the cliff. We are the Wile E. Coyote standing off the side of the cliff holding the sign saying “uh oh” as our body begins to fall, and our head has a look of desperation.
Unfortunately most of our elected officials don’t care. We see giving in on 80% and getting our 20% is a good “middle of the road” compromise. The debt ceiling bill passed back in June (with Republican support), increased our debt ceiling by $4 trillion over the next 2 years. Meaning this upcoming 2024 budget will be $2 trillion MORE than the past budget. Plus another $2 trillion for the following year.
To put that into perspective. The $2 trillion increase we will see this year alone is the same amount we spent on our total COVID relief funding during the pandemic.
The entire lockdown.
Unemployment for “non-essential workers”.
Extra child tax credits.
This is now the level of our “new normal” spending level. And the biggest fight we have now is whether we max out that entire spending in the budget (Democrat plan), or budget just under the $2 trillion cap with room for potential emergency to float money (Republican plan).
That’s the current holdup on a federal budget.
The extremely sad part: only 21 Republicans have sent a letter to Speaker McCarthy stating that they would not support the budget proposal with the full capped spending plan.
For this conservative, the only budget proposal I want to see is a CUT from last year, not touch the new $2 trillion, and a full 12 appropriation bill plan done by the end of September. And any day beyond that September 30th deadline, we can shut down government operations until the elected officials learn to do their job in the time given to them.
But that’s a New Year’s wish I know we won’t see anytime soon.