Monday, December 04, 2006

Why the Republicans were kicked out

Besides the war in Iraq, the GOP-led Congress failed to perform the fundamental duty of government by passing federal budgets. OMB Watch saw it coming back in February 2006:

Each year the congressional leadership is responsible for setting Congress' legislative calendar, and this year that calendar will be tightly packed with the smorgasbord of issues Congress must tackle in the coming months. The legislative work Congress fails to finish, however, may be what makes headlines in 2006. This year boasts the fewest legislative days for Congress in twenty years, and this compressed election-year schedule is sure to make finishing appropriations bills before the end of the fiscal year on Oct. 1, a task lawmakers find difficult even with more ample time, next to impossible.
Spot on. And here’s the main editorial in today’s WashPost:

One of the basic functions of Congress is passing spending bills to fund the operations of government. Congress regularly fails to complete this work in a timely way, but the 109th Congress is set to leave on an especially negligent note. Unless something dramatic changes, it will limp to a close having completed work on just two spending bills for fiscal 2007, which began Oct. 1. The upshot is that, at best, the fiscal year will be nearly one-third over by the time the 110th Congress finishes the work left incomplete by the 109th.
So nobody wanted to work a four-day week and (almost) nothing got passed. That equals a recipe for termination. Great job, guys.

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