By DONNA BRAZILE
Congress has a number of deadlines, but then again, everyone has them. The trick is to deal with deadlines before they loom. It’s a lesson many parents teach their children.
If you deal with things in a timely manner, deadlines merely approach and then disappear quietly, having been met. However, Congress isn’t good with getting things done in a timely manner. The Christmas decorations in the Capitol would still be up in August if it were up to Congress to take them down.
Congress has to pass some sort of spending bill to fund the government or that government will shut down when October begins. So you know what Congress will be doing at 11:30 p.m. on September 30?
Let’s put it this way: Sept. 30 is when the current fiscal year ends. And then we find out if this turns out to be the last fiscal year ... ever. You see, some extremists in Congress have declared war on the United States government.
They would rather see the mightiest nation in the world, the “home of the brave,” grind to a complete stop while the world looks on, than see uninsured Americans have health care. That’s the bottom line.
Some Republicans in Congress have convinced their leaders to not pass a bill that provides the money to run the government because they want to defund Obamacare, which is a political impossibility. The tea party members of the House are refusing to do what must be done so they can attempt what can’t be done.
If we manage to get past the Sept. 30 fiscal year deadline, then we still have to deal with raising the debt ceiling and the sequestration. And after that, another funding bill, because this one is temporary. Then another. There are a lot deadlines looming. So, for the next few weeks in D.C., it’s going to be “loom and doom.” Again.
House Speaker John Boehner could have stopped it. He could have shown some backbone and said to the 85 Republicans who are calling this shot, “No, I won’t allow this.”
But, the speaker of the House caved. The speaker is the second-most powerful person in Washington. But he let a handful of his colleagues dictate. Further, he’s pretending there’s no shutdown involved. Boehner had a choice — he could have forged a bipartisan coalition to pass a spending package in time, but that was too distasteful.
Donna Brazile is a senior Democratic strategist, a political commentator and contributor to CNN and ABC News, and a contributing columnist to Ms. Magazine and O, the Oprah Magazine.