Must Keep the Threat AliveSeptember 29, 2011 - by Donny Shaw
Earlier today Congress officially disposed of the most recent budget standoff that was threatening to shut down the government. And without skipping a beat, they also began prepping for the next one.
House Appropriators on Thursday released a draft spending bill that ends funding for NPR and President Obama’s signature “Race to the Top” education program, in addition to defunding Obama’s healthcare reform and Planned Parenthood.
The bill also contains a number of pro-business, anti-union policy riders, including one that limits labor agreements with unions on federal projects and one that prohibits federal workers from union activities while on the clock at work.
Again, this is not actual legislating, it’s a ploy to suck up to partisan voters and special interests that can finance campaigns. With a divided government like the one we have now, the obvious way to budget, if your goal is actually to keep the government open, is to compromise on numbers and keep all divisive social policy riders out.
The current round of appropriations expires on November 18th. The next one could be the last one before the 2012 elections, so expect both parties to milk it for everything they can. The policy riders listed above are only for the Labor, Health and Human Services portion of the appropriations. It will most likely be rolled into an omnibus with all the other appropriations bills, which will each contain their own batch of unrelated riders.