Mistaken Emphasis

It’s in the lede of this Just the News article.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R, LA) faces his first major tests as leader of the chamber in passing a federal budget that can please his party and still pass the Democratic Senate as well as aid for Ukraine and Israel.

It’s certainly true that Johnson and the Republican caucus in the House face tight deadlines (artificially tight, stemming as they do from an irrational fear of a partial government closure, but that’s a separate matter). But it’s on the obstructionist Progressive-Democratic Party-run Senate to work with Republicans to pass the House’s budget.

That includes, too, necessary aid for Ukraine and Israel, and for the Republic of China. The Johnson-led House already has passed an Energy Department appropriations bill that cuts $857 billion (over a period of time) from that department. Similar cuts in six of the seven remaining appropriations bills free up a bunch of money for a serious defense restoral and buildup and for aid for those three critical nations, while still executing an overall serious spending cut.

It’s important to note, too, that the “no blank check” position of many Republicans, which most of the press (not JtN presently) spins as Republican opposition to further aid for Ukraine, does not actually mean no further money for such aid. On that matter, here’s Johnson:

We all do [support aid for Ukraine]. We’re going to have conditions on that so we’re working through it.

Those conditions have centered on audit trails (most of which already are in place) tracing the money and equipment from their origin to their arrival at the front.

Such audit trails should be required on all spending that Congress enacts, with an attached requirement that the audits be thorough and have deadlines for their production. Further, spending should be suspended in those areas and on those programs where audits are late or incomplete—with no excuses for their tardiness or incompleteness. There also must be sanctions on the auditors, their supervisors, and the Cabinet Department and Agency heads where there is evidence of audit pencil-whipping.

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