Your editorial “Shutdown solution just kicks the can — again” (Oct. 17) quoted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as labeling the recent emergency legislation “historic.” You are accurate to term it an overstatement.
The Budget Act of 1974 set up a process that Congress would follow to produce an approved budget every fiscal year so appropriations for the government’s functioning would occur on time and congressional committees would know the budgets within which they could suggest substantive legislation, including Obamacare.
In recent years, Congress has not followed that process; it has not operated within that law it set for itself and the executive branch. Our president also submitted his recommended budget so late as to make it useless.
Elected leaders must go back to adhering to the Budget Act process so normal budgeting and legislating can occur. We then would avoid the brinkmanship problems we see in place now. Our elected officials would have already made the hard policy decisions about funding levels for programs before the year beginning Oct. 1 and there would be no need for any supercommittee to iron out differences. Neither would there have been any government shutdown.
No misnamed “historic” agreement would be needed because our leaders under the Budget Act would be doing the normal work we expect from them as servants of the people.
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