(No comments from the peanut gallery.)
Time is rapidly decreasing to get a budget passed in time to prevent a Federal government partial shutdown. There are those who fear that, and many of those distort the situation by claiming that it would be a total shutdown and one that would push all grandmas and grandpas off the Social Security cliff and deny wages for our soldiers. The hysteria is strong in those, but let’s take it seriously for a moment.
Here’s a solution. Assume Congressman Andrew Clyde (R, GA) is correct in his prediction that the House will finish passing all 12 of its appropriation bills by the supposed deadline of 17 November. To the extent the shutdown hysteria needs to be taken seriously, there will need to be an extension/additional Continuing Resolution in order to give the Senate time to deal with the appropriations bills, the House-Senate Conference that will be necessary to resolve any differences, and that CR. I’m eliding here the idea that Senators themselves need no funding in order to do their jobs and work these bills. They can work for free for the time being.
If the Senators, led by Progressive-Democrat Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY), but really only 60 of the 100 are needed, are serious, they’ll need under Senate rules only about a week to consider and pass or vote down an appropriation bill. Since Senators all are very proud of their ability to “walk and chew gum,” as they love so quaintly to put it, they can consider all of the appropriations simultaneously and in parallel with their handling of the CR. This is especially true given the size of each Senator’s staff and the size of the Senate-as-a-whole’s staff.
It should take only a day for the Conference Committee to resolve any differences, and an additional day for the respective houses to pass or reject the Committee’s recommendations.
Thus: pass a CR containing spending at the latest pre-Wuhan Virus Situation level, good for nine days. That’s sufficient time for the Senate to act on the CR and the appropriations bills.
And pass no further CRs. Full stop. If the Senate as a whole chooses to reject any of the House bills, or the CR, the Senate—Republicans as well as Progressive-Democrats, depending on how the Republicans vote—will have demonstrated that they’re more interested in their political games than they are in the weal of their constituents and of our nation at large. They should be left, with apologies to Hosea, to reap the whirlwind: it hath no budget; the funds shall yield no meal.