The House of Representatives has “abandoned” its efforts to reach an agreement on a budget. The members are instead going home for a two-week break.
In one sense it’s a good thing. The Bush-inspired budget under consideration — which “reject[ed] the administration’s call to cut Medicare spending while endorsing its proposal to cut much of the rest of the budget” — sets the wrong priorities for the nation. The House’s budget was generally based on Bush’s proposal that underfunded health, education, and national investments. Even so, since it included more tax cuts, it would have added $3 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years.
But passing a budget is one of the most fundamental congressional duties. Failure to set an annual budget is a gross negligence of their public responsibility and an “embarrassment to a new Republican leadership.” This leaves the Congress with “deficits on the rise and no plan in place to contain them.”
Average Americans aren’t allowed to drop their work and go on vacation — lawmakers shouldn’t be any different.
- John Irons