Michael Reagan: The yahoos who stole Christmas

Michael Reagan

Christmas in California has effectively been canceled by Emperor Gavin Newsom.

And now it looks like here in Los Angeles we're going to be locked in our basements by the local yahoos in charge until February.

But the continuing destruction of normal social and economic life in California in the name of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic is old news.

Instead, let's talk about the yahoos in Washington who are continuing to screw up the whole country.

The federal yahoos, it's no surprise, are the slippery politicians in Congress.

Mostly Democrats but also some Republicans, for a decade they haven't had the decency or courage to pass an annual appropriations bill to pay for the bloated and wasteful federal government they've built.

By midnight Friday these yahoos were suppose to have passed another one of their short-term continuing resolutions to avoid a government shutdown.

It'll be nothing special. For fiscal year 2021 -- which began Oct. 1 -- continuing resolutions have already been needed twice.

Two weeks Congress passed a continuing resolution that lasted only a week.

It's all pretty embarrassing, but continuing resolutions and midnight voting deadlines are how the annual federal budgeting process works these days in the world's richest nation.

The way it's supposed to work, by law, is the way it worked until Sen. Harry Reid and the Obama administration changed it in 2010 for partisan reasons.

The process should be for Congress to pass 12 specific spending bills to pay for government things like transportation, the military, etc., by Sept. 30 every fiscal year.

But for 10 years our public servants in Congress have not been able to get their act together to pass the 12 appropriations bills.

Instead, what they've done is combine several of the spending bills into gigantic omnibus bills that are packed with all kinds of goodies to reward donors and special interests or to fund federally funded local boondoggles that otherwise would never have the votes to pass.

It's been a sweet racket for these yahoos.

They've found out that if they don't pass the omnibus bills by Sept. 30 like they're supposed to they can use a continuing resolution and the threat of a government shutdown to scare the public and get their lousy stuff passed unnoticed in huge spending bills.

The sad thing is these yahoos have been playing this dirty game in Washington for a long time, but no one ever holds them accountable and the media never tell the story.

Both parties do it. Both are to blame. It's mostly Democrats who engage it, but it's Republicans that don't say anything. They all play along.

The same yahoos in Washington who were working to pass the latest continuing resolution late Friday night were also dragging out the passage of a COVID-19 stimulus bill to the last possible minute.

The COVID-19 stimulus bill would have been passed several months ago but the Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used it as a political weapon.

They didn't want Donald Trump's re-election campaign to benefit from a second stimulus package.

Plus, imitating the way they operate on annual appropriations bills, they took advantage of a national crisis and tried to load up the stimulus bill with hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of presents for their pet special interests and to bail out badly run Democrat cities and bankrupt states like Illinois.

No American should shed a tear for any member of Congress, even if they have to work 24/7 on the stimulus bill and eat vending machine food from now until New Year's.

They haven't missed a paycheck all year. They're going to make sure they have a merry Christmas. But they've basically said "Bah humbug" to the rest of us.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant and an author.

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