The following excerpt was written by Angelo Codevilla and originally published on Fox News.
To avoid a federal government shutdown, Congress must pass an obscure but incredibly important piece of spending legislation by Friday called a continuing resolution – commonly referred to as a CR at the Capitol. At this point, no one knows if Congress will be able to do this in time to keep our government operating.
Want to know what the CR says about how your tax dollars will be spent? Unfortunately, even if Congress passes the bill this week, you won’t know until the last minute what’s in it. That’s because the whole CR process is cloaked in secrecy and mystery.
At a time when gridlock, dysfunction and bitter partisanship are running rampant in Congress, the CR has become a substitute for a federal budget – determining how the government spends the money it collects in taxes from the American people.The ruling class no longer pretends that these CRs merely continue, unchanged, the funding for individual agencies or items about which the Congress occasionally has failed to agree. In fact, for a decade the entire government’s funding has depended on the content of the next CR.
Each CR is the product of intense bargaining behind closed doors among congressional leaders, the White House, lobbyists and other interested parties.
Putting everything into one spending package that few have read, to be voted on at the last minute – or else – has freed members of the House and Senate, along with the president, from their constitutional responsibilities to vote on or veto individual spending items.
The end result – the choice between voting for the CR or shutting down the government – has left the rest of us powerless to hold anyone responsible. This is not the way our government is supposed to work.
The above excerpt was written by Angelo Codevilla and originally published on Fox News.