Congress doesn’t have a reputation for managing money well. But these days it seems like lawmakers are unwilling — or unable — to balance the checkbook on time.
These days it seems like Washington budgets by a series of never-ending continuing resolutions — a way of delaying action until well past the last minute. It’s something both sides find frustrating. Here’s Democratic Senator Tim Kaine on a warning Secretary of Defense James Mattis gave to the Senate Democratic Caucus.
“He told us, as he repeatedly testified, that continuing resolutions are destroying the military, they’re destroying our readiness. They’re destroying our capacity to meet the threats of today.”
That’s why Republican Congressman Scott Taylor of Virginia Beach is introducing a nonbinding resolution that says all these continuing resolutions erode military readiness and pose a risk to national security. Jeanette Chapman at George Mason University says they’re also harmful to the economy of Virginia, especially Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia.
“There’s an underlying assumption that these CRs will keep rolling over unless they don’t. And unless they don’t is the dangerous part. And we’re in an environment right now where general uncertainty around the federal government is higher than it typically been in the past.”
In the last 40 years, Congress has passed all the necessary appropriations bills on schedule only a handful of times. Republican Congressman Taylor and Democratic Senator Kaine both say somebody should make the trains run on time around here.