Tag Archives: federal spending

‘Compromise’ not such a dirty word

It turns out that compromise indeed is possible in the 113th Congress.

When it shows itself, we learn that things actually can get done, such as approving a federal budget that keeps the government running through September. The House of Representatives approved the deal overwhelmingly and has sent it back to the Senate hopefully for final approval.


The $1.1 trillion budget deal marks a departure from recent history, where Republicans and Democrats have fought over every big and little thing in the budget. It has produced gridlock, made a lot of people angry, shut down part of the government for a time, forced public opinion of Congress into a sinkhole and redefined the term “political dysfunction.”

Does this signal a new day on Capitol Hill? Probably not. However, one can hope.

Tomorrow might bring a new set of hassles and disagreements, particularly in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives that seems to have declared its intention to block everything House Democrats and the Democrat in chief in the White House want to do.

The bill reduces funds for the Internal Revenue Service, gives federal workers a 1 percent pay increase and gives money to the Environmental Protection Agency. These measures make Republicans happy. Meanwhile, Democrats got something for themselves, such as funding for Head Start, which helps early childhood education efforts.

No one is entirely happy with the deal, nor are they entirely unhappy.

That’s the spirit of compromise. Things can get done. It’s how you legislate. It’s how good government is supposed to work.

What’s more, it doesn’t inflict nearly the pain that stubborn intransigence can produce.

Dr. Coburn is right about shutdown effect

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn is an Oklahoma Republican who joins his GOP colleagues in hating the Affordable Care Act.

But the man also understands the consequences of shutting down the federal government to make a political point about ending what’s known as Obamacare.

Don’t do it, Sen. Coburn warns.


A government shutdown would destroy the Republican Party, he told the Washington Examiner.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, has this idea to quit operating the federal government if it results in getting rid of Obamacare. He’s been joined by some of the party firebrands, such as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Such a shutdown could occur later this year as the White House and congressional Republicans lock horns in their ongoing battle over federal spending.

Someone ought to remind Lee, Cruz and some of the other political pistols on the right that Congress enacted the ACA, which then withstood a challenge in the Supreme Court of the United States, which ruled in June 2012 that the law is constitutional and it should stand.

Yet the foes persist time and again trying to get rid of a law they contend constitutes a federal overreach.

And now they’re threatening to shut the government down to make their point?

Quick. Put out a call to former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who also led a government shutdown in the 1990s. The shutdown helped doom Gingrich’s speakership.

What’s that saying about the consequences of ignoring the lessons of history?