On September 23rd, Speaker of the House John Boehner used an accounting trick to appease both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to help pass a stop-gap budget measure that would ensure government funding beyond September 30th. This cut would entail removing $100 million from the Presidents loan guarnatee program that has been used in the past to fund the Solyndra solar company.
Solyndra is currently under investigation by the FBI and Congressional ethics board for potential criminal and ethics charges.
The House early Friday narrowly approved a stopgap spending measure to keep the federal government running through Nov. 18, as Republican leaders secured the votes of conservatives who had rejected a similar bill a day earlier.
After 48 Republicans opposed his bill on Wednesday, he faced a choice: Scrap a spending cut to win over Democrats who had pulled their support for the bill, or persuade dissenting conservatives that the original bill was the best deal they could get.
Boehner chose his right flank, adding a sweetener in the form of a $100 million rescission to the loan guarantee program that funded the bankrupt energy company Solyndra. – The Hill
However, this move by Congressman Boehner may be for not as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is unlikely to push for passage in the Senate, thus bringing the nation once again closer to a government shutdown in seven days. On top of this, both houses are getting ready to return home for an extended break, and would not be returning until early October.
Reid, however, said, “I’m not that sure” there won’t be a shutdown. He added, “I am not as certain as McConnell.”
At issue is increased funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help a number of states recover from various natural disasters. The government funding bill, known as a continuing resolution, that the House will take up on Wednesday contains $3.65 billion for FEMA, but the Senate has previously approved stand-alone legislation that would provide $6.9 billion in relief funds. – The Hill
For the American people, the bi-partisan struggle to cut spending and pass a fiscally responsible budget continues. Less than two months ago, the federal government nearly shutdown because of an ideological battle between both parties on spending cuts and tax increases. The result was the creation of a Super Congress made up of 12 members from both houses to formulate a plan to begin addressing the massive federal deficit.
Heading towards the end of September however, the Super Congress has yet to submit any meaningful legislation to either House of Congress, and their mandated deadline is for September 30th. The end result of the August compromise was a $2 trillion dollar increase in the debt ceiling, with what now appears to be only vague promises of deficit spending cuts.
As the US government once again moves headlong towards a government shutdown, the American people are beginning to get tired of their representatives inability to create and pass a fiscally responsible budget that will help address the decades long increase in the national debt. With today’s vote to pass a stop-gap measure in the House before Congress takes an extended break next week, any compromise by either party will most likely result in a rushed through bill, that once again will not address the underlying problems of too much spending in Washington.