Congress: The good news and the bad news

The U.S. Senate is in need of about eight Republican who can be coerced sweet-talked into approving a bipartisan budget deal that was approved last week by the GOP-led House. The speculation among Dems and Repubs alike is that a deal will be passed this week. Not surprisingly, everyone doesn’t like the budget deal. I am included in that group. But I also will be happy to see it passed.

That is the good news. The bad news a bit later.

Like most Americans, self-interest is what makes me want to hold my nose while applauding both houses for approving the first budget that I can remember. Not that it has been that long ago, I just can’t remember when was the last time we weren’t operating on what everyone by now should know is a concurrent resolution. I just know it’s been more than a couple of years since an actual budget was in place.

I don’t know what all is in the budget. But I will stay happy with it if it doesn’t cut my pay through raising my pension contributions — it will make new hires pay more — and provides the first pay raise, even 1 lousy percent, in many football seasons.

If some other stupidity winds up in this budget — once again, provided it passes — I will face that when it happens.

Now for the bad news. Let’s say this little amoeba-sized-hailstone piece of bipartisanship happens. And here, let’s say theoretically that I don’t care whether it’s good or bad. This will likely be the last significant measure we will get out of this Congress, according to The Washington Post. Why, oh why, should I not believe it.

It isn’t to say the Congress won’t do anything after passing a budget. Maybe a farm bill will pass which will pay sorghum farmers for not raising dairy cattle or will provide subsidies that encourages Louisiana rice farmers to export their crop to Thailand.

Or maybe Congress will even come up with some sensible immigration reform before they all head home to really start campaigning for their upcoming elections. You know, they will probably make it easier for Southeast Asians to come here for tech and medical jobs. Something on that order. As for Mexico: ¿Quién sabe? 

I’m not one to support a “do-nothing” Congress. There are plenty who do. But there is a good case for it once they head home to start speaking at the Rotary Clubs and the VFWs and the Log Cabin Republicans, should you have a chapter in your town. Those in Congress who have done nothing will get their applause from their supporters. But they might just find their support dwindling, depending on who were inconvenienced by the government shutdown. The whole veterans at National Park/National Monument mumbo jumbo was just that. It was meant for the Fox News crowd. I am a veteran and what pissed me off the most were those poor old WWII guys were just getting used by the politicians who sought a distraction from their lockout of government employees and the American people.

Hopefully, such a crowd, audience if you will, might not carry a big bunch to the polls for the mid-term. I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong many times. As far as I am concerned, the quicker this Congress gets out of Washington the better. Even if it is only to politick for their mid terms. Although an absence for good would be much better.