"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“Endless Crusades”: Tea Party Delays Spending, Beats Dead Horse

It will only cover three days, but once again next week Congress will have to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government open. The current resolution expires on Wednesday, and even though a budget agreement was reached last month, appropriators in both chambers still haven’t nailed down a plan to tell various agencies what they can spend.

There are many reasons for that delay — the appropriations committees only had a few weeks after the budget deal to cobble together a massive $1 trillion bill, known as an omnibus. But one of the biggest is that House Republicans from the Tea Party wing have demanded that the bill reflect their ideological goals.

They have insisted, for example, that no money be spent to implement the health care reform law, or that various aspects of the law be cut back so sharply that it would not be workable. They don’t want money spent to implement the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. They want sharp reductions in the National Labor Relations Board.

More than 130 of these so-called riders have been filed by lawmakers, many of whom wouldn’t vote for the omnibus even if their provisions were adopted. Some are particularly ridiculous, including:

* Forbidding the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing its rule on the safe removal of lead paint.

* Prohibiting the Fish and Wildlife Service from including the sage grouse on the endangered species list.

* Prohibiting subsidies for any health care plan that includes abortion. (Many states already forbid this, but this rider would make the ban nationwide.)

* Banning the government from requiring federal contractors to disclose their political contributions — one of the Obama administration’s better transparency proposals, which it eventually dropped in the face of business opposition.

Many of these riders have been dropped by the negotiators, but some, including those involving the health care law, have yet to be resolved. (Appropriators think the omnibus bill will be ready by next week.) Republican leaders can’t afford another government shutdown, but apparently they haven’t yet convinced their most radical members to stop their endless crusades.


By: David Firestone, Editor’s Blog, The New York Times, January 10, 2014

January 12, 2014 - Posted by | GOP, Tea Party | , , , , , , ,

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