All signs indicate that Congress will again miss the Oct. 1 deadline for appropriations for the coming fiscal year and face the very real possibility of a government shutdown -- the dramatic effects of which would be felt tangibly in communities across the country. To avoid a shutdown, Congress may rely on a continuing resolution to temporarily fund government operations. The one-two punch of this crisis is a stark reminder of the rampant dysfunction in the halls of Congress.
Congress Shirks Its Constitutional Responsibility
Funding our nation on stop-gap spending measures is a basic failure of Congressional responsibility, and a danger to our democracy. Budgeting-by-crisis not only diverts Congress's attention away from other critical issues -- such as the economy and jobs -- but also eliminates an essential step in the democratic process, where citizens get to weigh in on our nation's budget priorities.
If this sounds familiar, that's because it is. Remember 2011 and the super failure of the Super Committee? As a result, we got sequestration. That's what happens when we budget by crisis.
In fact, in the last 10 years, not once has Congress passed a budget on time -- and the result is that the priorities of Americans are hardly reflected in decisions about how our tax dollars are spent.
Demand That Congress Do Its Job!
The 113th Congress is one of the most unproductive in history. Our lawmakers have wasted time all year, failing to make progress in one of their most essential functions in our system of divided government: budgeting and appropriating funds to execute the people's business.
Contact your members of Congress today and urge them to prioritize their constitutional responsibility to make appropriations and to do so in a regular, clear process so that the American people can exercise their right and responsibility to oversee and influence how their tax dollars are spent.
The federal budget process is one of the cornerstones of our democracy. We need Congress to set aside the partisan bickering and keep our nation moving forward.