Most spending bills come to the floor prepackaged in a manner that makes it as easy as possible to advance government spending and programs, and as difficult as possible to make cuts.
Again, this is not a new problem. But if we're serious about confronting the challenges that lie ahead for our nation, it's totally inadequate.
I propose today a different approach. Let's do away with the concept of "comprehensive" spending bills. Let's break them up, to encourage scrutiny, and make spending cuts easier. Rather than pairing agencies and departments together, let them come to the House floor individually, to be judged on their own merit. Members shouldn't have to vote for big spending increases at the Labor Department in order to fund Health and Human Services. Members shouldn't have to vote for big increases at the Commerce Department just because they support NASA. Each Department and agency should justify itself each year to the full House and Senate, and be judged on its own.This is probably the most common sense idea I've seen pass through the lips of anyone residing in Washington, DC in quite some time. Boehner should realize that while this is a phenomenal idea politically, that he did just stick the GOP's neck out onto the chopping block. Ace sees hope:
Still, it's a good sign that Boehner is thinking about new ways to do business. We aren't going to translate the conservative/tea party wave into anything concrete if Congress simply continues to play by the same old rules that have perpetuated the go-along, get-along ways of doing business.
Maybe, just maybe an old bull like Boehner is starting to see the light.There should be one gigantic caveat to that statement, though. Boehner has got to realize that if they don't act on what he laid out, the retribution will be as swift and as forceful as has been the anti-Democrat wave over the past two years.