Should there be a short term continuing resolution in Congress or a full budget agreement?
A quick answer to this question is that there should be a short term continuing resolution for several reasons. The first and most important one I believe is that the results of the November 2014 elections signals voters want a change in the culture of Congress. The influx of new individuals has the right to make the decisions about budget issues not the current makeup of Congress. A short term continuing resolution should be passed with putting limitations on critical issues in which the country and some members of Congress are furious. It is ethically and morally wrong for the present legislature to make decisions for the new Congress. Control has shifted and perhaps will have a different budgetary perspective than the present the culture now in place.
Continuing resolutions have been engrained in the legislative process and at this juncture of Congress with a different party in control it should the action to take to fund the government for a short period of time. This will provide the influx of new individuals to have their voices heard with regards to funding of the various departments and agencies. There is talk of a long term agreement to fund the government through September 2015 with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security. While I think this aspect makes sense at this time with the present immigration issue having funding in place through next September is wrong.
It is clear that voters want a change in Congress. Coming to an agreement on budget issues has been difficult to say the least and it is hoped that decisions will be better based on what is best for citizens and the country as a whole not political party policy. Too much party policy has been involved in the budget process while not considering the impact on the economy. There is some encouraging remarks being made about changing the method of budgeting and one remark in particular makes sense. Budgets should be established separately by department not consolidated all together in one large budget paperwork which would be difficult and has been difficult to know what is in it.
Separate department budget legislation will allow the focus on specific departments and their current operations and their needs for the future. It would be a welcomed change in the budget philosophy now in place and a long term budget agreement would greatly impact and potentially hamper if not prevent this type of budgeting from taking place. The present budget process in Congress is definitely in need of a change. Separate budget legislation for each department would make the process more efficient with a focus on each with regards to the actions they have taken and the management of the funds they have received in the past. There needs to be more accountability by departments and agencies to Congress. Adding specific accountability requirements through budget legislation for each department would allow Congress to take back some control from the departments and agencies to potentially prevent harmful rules and regulations from being implemented. Let us hope a short term resolution to fund the government will be the action taken giving the new Congress the power and authority they deserve to have on their watch.
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