It’s not surprising that Republicans and Democrats measure the value of government spending differently.  They both have their pet projects, however one would expect that the safety, effectiveness and compensation of the military wouldn’t be a contentious matter.  Apparently if cutting the budget is too deep for the Democrats and Mr. Obama they say, “Well, screw the soldiers!”

In an attempt to keep the government funded beyond tomorrow night, the House Republicans crafted a one-week continuing resolution, that included 12 billion dollars in budget cuts, but ensured that the military would be funded through the end of the fiscal year.  The Republican’s say that those that risk their lives for our benefit shouldn’t be held hostage to partisan budget bickering.  It’s enough that many give their lives, without their families at home having to wonder whether squabbling in Washington might mean that their paychecks don’t show up.

In his own shutdown blackmail, the President is threatening to veto the one-week extension measure that would ensure the troops are paid through September and keep the government running for another week.

The week extension won’t solve the budget standoff, but it at least protects those that protect us.  The White House said in a statement, “This bill is a distraction from the real work that would bring us closer to a reasonable compromise for funding the remainder of fiscal year 2011 and avert a disruptive federal government shutdown that would put the nation’s economic recovery in jeopardy.

The President said earlier this week he would veto the temporary extension unless there were hints of a progress in negotiations on a final bill.  These leave you to conclude one of two things.  Either the Democrats and the White House have been lying about how close they are to a deal, or the President wasn’t being straight with the American people when he said he’d only veto if there was no progress.

Chris Van Hollen, Liberal representative from Maryland couldn’t pass up a chance to throw out talking points when he said, “this is a very cynical ploy to use our troops to try to impose the Republican agenda through the budget process.”  Exactly what is the Republican agenda Mr. Hollen?  Reducing the out-of-control spending under his watch? Does Mr. Hollen have a problem with a specific cut, or the concept of cutting at all?  It would appear the latter.

House Speaker Boehner quickly replied, “Neither the President nor Senate Democrats have identified a single policy provision they find objectionable in the bill.   The President and Democratic leaders have all committed to working with Republicans to cut spending. A bill that falls short of that commitment cannot pass the House.”

“The numbers are basically there,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said today. “But I am not as nearly as optimistic — and that’s an understatement — as I was 11 hours ago. The numbers are extremely close.”  Notice the President’s own Senate majority leaders words, “extremely close.” That would seem to meet Mr. Obama’s requirement for a “hint” of progress.

Boehner has stated numerous times, “there’s no agreement yet — No agreement on the numbers, and no agreement on the policy issues that were moved through the House. There are a number of issues on the table and any attempt to narrow it down to one or two would not be accurate.”

So which is the truth? While men and women face real bullets and IEDs thousands of miles from home, political brinkmanship seems to be the best congress has to offer.  If not for those dedicated people, of which I’m sure there are plenty, that work for our government, I’d say shut it down cause it don’t work.

The President said to the White House press corps, “We’re going to keep on pounding away at this thing because I’m absolutely convinced that we can get this done,.  There is no reason we should not be able to complete a deal.”  Again, he’s certain, but I suppose certainty isn’t a hint.

Troops and other agency staff that are considered “essential” will be kept on duty during a shutdown and will not receive their paychecks until a budget is finalized.  The most insulting exclamation point to this entire argument is that members of Congress, White House staff, and those congressional staffers considered essential will continue to be paid.

What a farce!

[widgets_on_pages id=”Underpost”]