It’s the last week before the August district work period, and Republican dysfunction is on full display. If you needed any more proof that Republicans have to work with Democrats to get things done because their Conference is so divided, look no further than what’s happened today: first they pull THUD appropriations from the Floor; now they’ve pulled 3 Oversight suspensions (H.R. 2711, 2579, and 1541) and are going to the Rules Committee to combine them into one bill that will return to the Floor to be considered under a closed rule. How the mighty have fallen.
In case you haven’t seen it, wanted to flag some excerpts from a brutal statement released by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers this afternoon:
“The Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development funding bill that was pulled from floor consideration today was the first major attempt by the House to consider and pass an Appropriations bill that funds domestic programs under the austere level delineated under the Budget Control Act and the House budget resolution.”
“The bill today reflected the best possible effort, under an open process, to fund programs important to the American people – including our highway, air and rail systems, housing for our poorest families, and improvements to local communities – while also making the deep cuts necessary under the current budget cap. In order to abide by sequestration budget levels, this bill cut $4.4 billion below the current, post-sequestration total to a level below what was approved for these programs in 2006 – over seven years ago.”
“I am extremely disappointed with the decision to pull the bill from the House calendar today. The prospects for passing this bill in September are bleak at best, given the vote count on passage that was apparent this afternoon. With this action, the House has declined to proceed on the implementation of the very budget it adopted just three months ago. Thus, I believe that the House has made its choice: sequestration – and its unrealistic and ill-conceived discretionary cuts – must be brought to an end.”
“The House, Senate and White House must come together as soon as possible on a comprehensive compromise that repeals sequestration, takes the nation off this lurching path from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis, reduces our deficits and debt, and provides a realistic topline discretionary spending level to fund the government in a responsible – and attainable – way.”
So Republicans’ attempt to fund programs at the extreme Ryan Budget failed? We can’t say we’re surprised since we’ve been warning them about the impact of these drastic cuts for months. Here’s a thought for our friends across the aisle: maybe it’s time to compromise, since doing it on your own clearly isn’t working.