Pathetic. Congress now has virtually ceded its most important powers to a panel that President Obama will appoint.
“House Democrats passed a budget document Thursday that sets discretionary spending at levels below those proposed by President Barack Obama but doesn’t address how Congress should cut deficits.
The “budget enforcement resolution” Democrats are substituting for a traditional budget resolution sets discretionary spending for 2011 at $1.12 trillion, about $7 billion less than Obama’s proposal and $3 billion less than a Senate Democratic plan. It also sets a goal of cutting deficits to the point where revenues equal all spending except for interest payments on the debt.
But unlike traditional budget resolutions, this year’s version doesn’t detail how Congress should reach that goal, leaving those tough decisions to Obama’s bipartisan fiscal commission.”
Do you realize how weak this is? Do you realize how deeply unconstitutional all this is?
Congress just effectively gave up its power of the purse to the President. This is shocking in the extreme.
On what authority does Congress turn over its power of the purse to a commission, appointed by the President?
This is so deeply anti-democratic, it is mind boggling. You are supposed to be able to vote your Congressman out if he votes for things you don’t like. But now, all the budget cuts will take place via this unelected commission, appointed by the President. So you don’t know what your Congressman’s position is on anything, and he doesn’t ever have to reveal it.
He can be against every single thing he promised to do, and you won’t know it, because all of his positions are hidden behind a single up or down vote on everything in the entire budget. This commission kills the democratic process. Think about it. If Congress had to make the cuts, there would be howls and hubbub and editorials and democracy taking place.
But with this commission, we won’t even get a chance to complain about their cuts. They will be sprung on us at the very end, and the public will have very little ability to influence the process. Democracy will be crippled, crimped and crushed. Citizen participation will be virtually removed.
So Congress has now shifted its most fundamental power to somebody else – all so they don’t have to make hard choices. So they can continue to get re-elected.
It’s basically a bill to subvert the Constitution and change the nature of American government.
Who gave them the power?
Who said Congressman should not have to make hard choices?
This is particularly odious because they have shifted their power to the President – in clear violation of our most cherished separation of powers principles. They are giving the executive enormous power over the budget, something the founders explicitly did not want them to have.
And, depending on how the commission operates, they may be creating a virtual King who does not have to really answer to Congress – for much of anything.
Remember all those articles by Tom Friedman saying he wished Obama was a dictator, so he could get all the “right” things done? Democrats seem to deeply cherish the idea of being ruled by a strong man. As long as it is their strong man.
If the founders had wanted the President to appoint a commission, and the Congress to have one up or down vote on their recommendations for cutting, they would have put it in the Constitution.
Democrats are destroying the fundamental principles on which the country was based.
It is a curious coincidence that any vote taken on recommendations from the Presidents fiscal commission—likely containing hefty tax increases—would take place after the November 2010 elections.
Moreover, the fiscal commission was never intended to be a substitute for elected officials to fulfill one of their most basic duties and pass an actual budget.
Americans have been forced to closely examine their own budgets in these tough economic times. In an era of trillion-dollar deficits and sky-high unemployment, Congress should at least do the same.
This vote should be called out for what it is: a cynical political maneuver to avoid the consequences of voting in favor of mounting spending and tax hikes during an election year.