United States Capitol
United States Capitol (Photo credit: Jack in DC)

Whenever something goes wrong, we try to figure out what or who is to blame. To do that appropriately, we first have to know what was suppose to happen. With that in mind, let’s consider the government shutdown. What was suppose to happen?

Check out United States budget process at Wikipedia. Our government is suppose to follow a budget process.

The Federal government of the United States uses a budget process to create the United States federal budget. The framework is used by Congress and the President of the United States to formulate the budget and was established by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, and by other budget legislation. (continued here)

About.com has a similar article, US Federal Budget Process.

This federal budget process document is a quick primer outlining the steps taken as the budget moves from concept to reality. (continued here)

Once upon a time, the Democratic Party was a bit more conservative.  Instead of using brinksmanship to get what it wanted, tying up the entire government, Democrats created a process that broke the budget into parts, and Congress voted on individual parts of the budget.


Finalizing A Budget

House and Senate Appropriations Committees hold hearings, taking testimony from OMB, executive agency officials and others. Each subcommittee is charged with developing one appropriation bill:

  1. Agriculture, rural revelopment, Food and Drug Administration
  2. Commerce, Justice, State, Judiciary
  3. Defense
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Energy and water development
  6. Foreign operations, export financing
  7. Homeland Security
  8. Interior
  9. Labor, Health and Human Services, Education
  10. Legislative Branch
  11. Military construction
  12. Transportation, Treasury, General Government
  13. Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, Independent Agencies

There are some parlimentary rules that make these bills unique. For example, Senators cannot filibuster the budget resolution or a reconciliation bill. (from here)

To resolve our current government shutdown standoff, House Republicans are trying a piecemeal approach. Consider what The Washington Times reports.

Here the Democrats in Congress reject funding those parts of the budget causing the most immediate grief.

With the government shutdown closing national monuments and sending federal office workers home, House Republicans changed tactics Tuesday and tried to pass individual spending bills that they said would restore money to high-profile programs such as veterans affairs, national parks and the Smithsonian Institution.

But House Democrats, backed by a presidential veto threat, blocked the bills, saying that while they supported the spending, it was unfair for Republicans to make them pick and choose from popular programs. (continued here)

In House GOP adds NIH, National Guard to shutdown bill strategy,  The Washington Times explains what they expect the House GOP to do next. Note our glorious leader’s objection.

But the White House budget office said President Obama “strongly opposes” those bills and would veto them if they were to reach his desk.

“Consideration of appropriations bills in a piecemeal fashion is not a serious or responsible way to run the United States government. Instead of opening up a few government functions, the House of Representatives should re-open all of the government,” the budget office said in a statement vowing the veto. (continued here)

Even though the budget process calls for the consideration of individual appropriation bills in a piecemeal fashion, our glorious leader calls that irresponsible. Nevertheless, when we want to simplify a problem, don’t we break it up into smaller parts? When we want to make certain everyone approves of each individual item in a budget, why wouldn’t we break it into parts?

In a republic, we are suppose to do our best to respect each others rights. When we do not have to do so, we should not force people to pay for things they do not want.

The fact is the majority of the people of this nation do not want Obamacare. Obama and the Democrats want it. With the most rank hypocrisy, they accuse Republicans for being responsible for the standoff. Yet they are as guilty as they can be. Obama and the Democrats should be ashamed. Instead, they have shown themselves to be shameless liars.




    1. It is a good point, but is one man responsible? I don’t think so. We elected the men and women in the Senate and the House of Representatives. We put Obama in the White.

      George W. Bush chose Roberts. The Senate approved him. When Obamacare is so obviously unconstitutional, why did Roberts refuse to rule it so? I don’t know, but I suspect there is much I don’t know. And we are talking about a split decision. Four other judges.

      The shutdown is largely part bigger problem. As time passes, it becomes more and more apparent we no longer hold the people we elect accountable either to the Constitution or ourselves.


      1. One man is responsible and that is John Roberts, why he did what he did we will never know but you can be sure he got pressure from somewhere. Obama said it wasn’t a tax but he turned the rules upside down and said it was, something fishy there.

        As far as a larger problem, we’ve had a larger problem, that not only will the people not hold Obama accountable neither will the Congress. I constantly just shake my head and think WTH? Who really is ruling this country is the million dollar question, it’s not Obama and it’s not the Supreme Court.

        I just posted “The Million Angry American March”, that’s what should be taking place right now in Washington, shutdown, slimdown, whatever they choose to call it now. The WWII Vets just showed them who owns America and them, are they the last American heroes, are we just going to sit on our duffs and bitch?

        It’s time we fought for OUR Country, time to take it back. Obviously taking it back at the polls isn’t working, time to take some pages from our forefathers play book. People think I’m an anarchist because I think drastic measures are necessary but their way isn’t working. I’m not anti govt just anti this one, time to replace it. This is NOT the America that I have come to know and love nor envisioned for my children or grandchildren. We can let the govt take it down or we can take it back, the choice is ours to make.


  1. Republicans should have not try to *sneak in* the defunding provisions to the fiscal 2014 Budget appropriations bills. It’s wrong to try to indirectly repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ( PPACA) by attaching the defunding provisions to the fiscal 2014 Budget Appropriations bills. It’s wrong to hold the fiscal Budget hostage in an attempt to defund the PPACA. As result, we have a government shutdown. Millions are federal employees are temporarily unemployed, and all national parks are closed. PPACA is a law of the land, because it has approved by Congress and signed by the President. PPACA has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court ruling. It’s unconsitutional to repeal a law by defunding it..


    1. It’s interesting that liberals are using the Supreme Court ruling, if John Roberts wasn’t a turncoat you liberals would be talking out of the other side of your mouths.

      Who cares if the parks are closed, the land should be reverted back to the states anyway. Why should federal employees be any different than us peons, we get laid off all the time but you don’t scream about that.


  2. Rob

    “It’s unconsitutional to repeal a law by defunding it..”. No, it isn’t. It’s called legislation by appropriation and has been done forever.


  3. Hans

    great info on all sides … this is a big learning curve and a blessing ( not the shutdown) to me as I am learning more from all of you wrt our government operation. Somehow, my government history slipped through the cracks … never hurts to have better history instructors. I thoroughly enjoyed this history lesson. May God bless America again …. one day in the future.


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