For various reasons I have been absent from DK for about a year. Today I felt the need for a rant and knew of no better place to do so.
Received from my congressman, Robert Hurt (R-VA 05), the following:
October 9, 2013
The Senate Must Join Us at the Negotiating Table
There is no denying that the current situation in Washington, which has led to a lapse in government operations, is unfortunate and needs to be rectified as soon as possible. At the root of it all, our constitutional prerogatives are at stake. Article One, Section Eight, which states the enumerated powers of Congress, expressly authorizes the U.S. Congress power of the purse. It is our job to establish the spending priorities for the nation.
This impasse is about the obligation of the United States Congress to participate in making decisions about the ways in which the federal government’s funding is appropriated. We in the House have been working diligently to offer proposals to fund the federal government before the end of the fiscal year on September 30th. We have been working in good faith, passing legislation that embraces reasonable and responsible spending reform. Unfortunately, the Senate has refused each and every one of our proposals and refused to come to the table and negotiate with us, leading to this lapse in government operations.
The Senate and the President have said from day one that they would refuse to negotiate on a simple spending plan for the U.S. government. When the House of Representatives proposed a spending plan that offered our view of what ought to be funded at this economically fragile time when we are borrowing thirty cents on every dollar and have amassed a $17 trillion debt, the Senate refused to negotiate. Since September 30th, the House has offered eight separate Continuing Resolution proposals supported by as many as thirty-six of our Democrat colleagues.
The House has been waiting 18 days for the Senate to come to the negotiating table. In an effort to provide funding for critical federal programs during this difficult time, the House has passed several pieces of legislation to restore these crucial operations. We have passed legislation to fund the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Guard, the National Park Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Special Nutritional Program for Women, Infants, and Children Program. We are making every sincere effort to restore the operations of our government, yet the Senate refuses to come to the negotiating table.
It is my sincere hope that we will be able to find agreement for funding the operations of the government as soon as possible, and I will continue to work in good faith to achieve that end.
If you need any additional information, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.
Washington, DC - 125 Cannon HOB * Washington, DC 20515 * Phone: (202) 225-4711
Charlottesville - 686 Berkmar Circle * Charlottesville, VA 22901 * Phone: (434) 973-9631
Danville - 308 Craghead St., Suite 102-D * Danville, VA 24541 * Phone: (434) 791-2596
Farmville - 515 S. Main Street, P.O. Box O * Farmville, VA 23901 * Phone: (434) 395-0120
My response under the fold.
To: Robert Hurt
It is with disgust that I read your "round-up," coupled with true amazement at your intellectual dishonesty.
You were elected to represent the people of your district - not to engage in a coup.
Your rehash of tea party bullet points is absurd and your claims of sincere efforts to re-open the government are mendacious.
You complain of the deficit but nowhere mention that, on an annualized basis, it is less than during the Bush administration, during which your party had no problems driving us into massive deficits for unfunded wars and a prescription drug plan. Where were the deficit hawks then?
If you want to work in good faith to fund the government, it is easy. Convince your speaker and majority leader to bring a clean CR to vote, raise the debt limit and then sit at a bicameral and bipartisan bargaining table to negotiate a budget. A plan which your Senate cohorts have blocked 21 times this year. Alternatively, join the Democrats in forcing Boehner's hand by a discharge petition and place the issue before your legislative body.
Why you think any "agreement" is necessary to avoid the destruction of our economy - not to mention the lives, livelihoods and support systems of hundreds of thousands of our citizens - is beyond me.
As is trying to cover your total lack of understanding of the constitutional process by claiming that President Obama refuses to negotiate.
Where does the constitution provide that a minority party can force this nation to its economic knees in an attempt to repeal a law that has been on the books for three years, has been actively litigated and ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court and ratified by the American people in the 2012 elections. Why didn't you simply move a bill to repeal the law - oh, I forgot - was it forty-one or forty-two times you tried that and failed.
You have failed again as evidenced by your daily changing demands. Your party is flopping around like a fish in the bottom of a boat after being hooked by the tea party and reeled in by de facto Speaker Cruz.
You have not sought agreements but payment of ransom demands. It is time to stop cowering and to stand up for what is right for all the people of this country.
End of rant - Thank You.