In part, because the job was supposed to be done well beforehand. Here’s his statement on the matter:
“We shouldn’t need a government shutdown. At the same time, Marylanders sent me to Congress this year to end Washington’s spending spree in order to get the economy moving and build an environment for positive job growth.
Nearly 50 days ago, the House of Representatives passed a reasonable budget that would reduce the federal spending this year by a mere two percent. I believe those in charge, the Senate and the President, must work with the House of Representatives to control spending. The American people expect us to solve this problem, and we must deliver.”
If you listen to Senator Harry Reid – not that I really do – he pits the blame on Republicans who don’t want to fund Planned Parenthood. But why should we fund Planned Parenthood anyway? Of course, one could logically ask that about a lot of federal spending: we subsidize everyone from farmers to radio personalities to so-called starving artists. We get involved in a Libyan civil war, backed by the same people complained we were involved in an Iraqi civil war. (So why not Sudan or Iran? They have unrest as well.) The spending cuts proposed by the GOP weren’t all that large in the vast scheme of things, and the government employees affected by the slowdown will most likely be made whole when it’s all over.
But compare Harris’s statement to the declarations by District of Columbia Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton that the District should “(tell) the Congress to go straight to hell” and called the slowdown “the functional equivalent to bombing civilians” on local television station WTTG. As you can see below, yeah, that’s toning down the rhetoric.
Again, this problem should have been addressed this time last year, and there was no reason the Democrats couldn’t have passed the budget back then – they had ample majorities in both the House and Senate. Perhaps they were afraid of creating more potential Election Day losses but, then again, they pretty much had their collective asses handed to them anyway.
So Eleanor Holmes Norton is complaining about a problem she helped to create – let me repeat myself, the Democrats could have rammed through pretty much whatever they wanted, even with 59 votes in the Senate. They didn’t do their job, and now their favored constituency group will pay the consequences.
Me, I probably won’t miss them.