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Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor
prepare for next hostage taking.
Get ready for the next government shutdown showdown. All because Republicans have to make everything a far-right ideological fight, made even more fun with a stiff dash of the stupid and petty.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Efforts to fund the government for an extended period of time could dissolve over whether the government should purchase cable for federal prisons, limit the use of starchy vegetables in school lunches, or permit federal employees to download porn.
Those are just a few of the policy "riders" that lawmakers have attached to various appropriations bills that Senate and House committees are currently crafting. And along with other more poisonous pills—language to defund Planned Parenthood or prohibit money for implementing Obama-care or financial regulatory reform—they are complicating matters as the government figures out how to stay operational.
The government is currently funded until Nov. 18, as per the short-term funding bill passed at the end of September. You remember that one, the one where Republicans were holding government funding hostage over providing disaster relief in the wake of a hurricane and earthquake.
Having learned from experience, Democrats are raising the alarm bell now about the upcoming shenanigans, possibly in hopes of pointing out to anyone paying attention (Hey! Traditional media! Look at it happening again!) that we're being set up for another debacle.
On October 19, Office of Management and Budget Chairman Jacob Lew wrote a stern letter to appropriators warning that the president would veto a bill that included objectionable riders or cut programs deemed critical. [...]
More recently, congressional Democratic leadership has begun publicly airing those concerns. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi warned in a press conference last week that the appropriations bills "shouldn't be a place for policymaking and riders." House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, meanwhile, released a letter on Tuesday signed by 182 Democrats, pledging to oppose a bill the included "partisan policy riders."
All of which hasn't exactly fazed their Republican counterparts. “We are committed to working with our Senate colleagues to get appropriations—which will cut spending for the second consecutive year—done as quickly as possible," said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner.
Where have we heard that before?
This month's fight is going to be made even more fun because the week after funding could run out, the Catfood Commission II is supposed to be done with its work (though their "work" could be nothing more than a resolution to give themselves more time). Here we go again.
Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 11:05 AM PDT.