House passes funding for National Parks, National Institutes of Health; Obama threatens veto
House Republicans are attempting to fund the areas of government where they have common ground with Democrats. Today they passed three separate bills funding the National Parks, National Institutes of Health, and the basic functions of Washington DC (because the city’s funding falls under Federal jurisdiction).
The reasoning is simple. Everyone agrees that those things should be funded, so let’s fund those things first.
from the Hill:
The House approved three targeted spending resolutions to the Senate on Wednesday, daring Senate Democrats to vote against measures to immediately fund the District of Columbia, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Park Service.
The bills are part of the House Republican plan to pass spending bills in areas where there is bipartisan agreement in order to spare some pieces of the government from the shutdown.
But while Democrats support these priorities, they mostly opposed attempts to pass them in the House. Democrats said Republicans were using the bills as part of a political strategy to mitigate the effects of the shutdown when they should instead pass a Senate spending resolution that funds the entire government.
I’m interested to see if Harry Reid uses a procedural maneuver to table the bills in the Senate without bringing them to the floor for an up or down vote. If he does bring the bills up for vote, he risks losing the vote to Republicans who have 46 seats and would only need to peel off 5 semi-sane Democrats to begin the process of ending the shutdown.
Still, even if the bills do squeak out of the Senate, Obama is already threatening to veto them. Imagine that! Vetoing the National Institutes of Health and preventing cancer research from being funded!
Piecemeal funding is actually a wise way to go about any budgeting process. The essentials of government are already funded. Military pay is funded. Now, let’s move on, one budget item at a time, and find common ground where we can. Then we can move on to the difficult stuff.
It’s the way any responsible business or family would do their budget. Why do Democrats object to Washington operating the same way?