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You’re Ignorant and They Know It

This past weekend, there was a telling discussion on Fox News Sunday. It shows that your ignorance of congressional spending processes is widely known.

If you’re like most people, you don’t know how to oversee your member of Congress and senators on spending issues. That’s why spending politics are so disorderly.

Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) was Chris Wallace’s guest along with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). In the aftermath of the government shutdown, Blunt tried to draw attention to the failure of the Senate this summer to pass any bills to fund the government in fiscal 2014.

BLUNT: [T]he unwritten story about the shutdown was that we were at the last day of the spending year, and not a single appropriations bill had passed the Senate of the 12 it need to fund the government. Only one of them had been brought to the floor, and it was the one — it was one that the majority leader knew couldn’t pass.

WALLACE: Well, I don’t — let me go back to taxes, because I do think that always seems to be the big problem here. Senator Durbin, why is it any different than Republicans refuse to raise revenues, than President Obama’s refusal to make in changes in ObamaCare.

DURBIN: Let me just tell you this before we go any further. I want to correct the record for Roy.

The one appropriation record that we brought to the floor, the transportation bill [S. 1243], was a bipartisan bill — Senator Murray, Senator Collins. When we brought it up for a vote to go forward, with the only appropriations bill we brought to the floor, Senator Blunt and all of the Republicans, except Senator Collins, voted against going forward on the bill.

So, don’t criticize us. We tried to move forward on appropriations bill.

WALLACE: OK. You guys are so far beyond what most people know or I think care about.

For a brief, shining moment, there was the possibility of holding the Senate accountable for not following the established processes that fund the government and that permit debate and better public oversight of spending. Perhaps also the chance to hold Senate Republicans accountable for obstructing things. But Chris Wallace cut it off, believing that most people aren’t interested.

In case you want to do your duty overseeing the government during the fiscal 2105 budget and spending cycle, you should know that the president is supposed to produce a budget on the first Monday in January February [oops! – ignorant…]. The House and Senate are supposed to negotiate a budget resolution by April 15th, which forms the basis for the appropriations (that is, spending) bills that are debated and passed through the summer. If that doesn’t happen, they should hear about it from you.

If you pay attention is to these processes in 2014, and if people like Chris Wallace discover that people like you care, it’s almost a sure thing that Congress will handle its spending decisions better.

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