The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

August 5, 2013

Other Views: America can wait

— Congress has serious, pressing business before it, business that one would assume can’t wait, and most of that business is connected in one way or another with the sequester, the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts that Congress enacted in the confident belief they would never come to pass.

They did come to pass and are predictably playing havoc with the budget process.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that further sequestration cuts — such as a $54 billion one scheduled to take effect in January — eventually will reduce the Army and Navy to pre-World War II levels.

Even if the former Republican defense expert is exaggerating, cuts of that size will inevitably affect manpower, training, equipment, logistics — in short, the military’s ability to wage war in the growing number of locations it may have to do so.

The House Republican leadership explained that it couldn’t come to grips with that particular problem until this fall because of its crowded schedule.

Meanwhile, the GOP found itself embarrassed by another awkward impasse that further gummed up the congressional schedule.

The House leadership pulled from the floor a $44.1 billion bill, colloquially known as THUD, to fund the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. The sequester cuts, whose broad outlines the GOP had earlier approved, were too steep to get it passed in the Republican-run House.

GOP whip Kevin McCarthy denied it was a lack of votes that got the bill pulled. It was just that “we don’t have enough time.”

Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky., the usually cautious chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has joined what one hopes is a growing number of Republicans opposed to sequestration. “Thus, I believe the House has made its choice: sequestration — and its unrealistic and ill-conceived discretionary cuts — must be brought to an end,” he said after the bill was pulled.

Further embarrassment awaited the GOP in the Senate, where Republicans blocked a vote on a counterpart transportation and housing bill because, at $54 billion, it was thought too expensive. A lone, brave Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, insisted the bill’s numbers were “not unrealistic.”

But, as House Republican leaders keep insisting, Congress is just too short on time to devise a compromise.

And why, you may well ask, is the House especially so pressed for time? Because its lawmakers took off Friday for a five-week vacation. The vacation schedule, by the way, is drawn up by House Republican leader Eric Cantor of Virginia.

— Scripps Howard News Service

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Opinion
  • Our View.jpg Our View: Lone holdout

    Missouri continues to be the only state in the United States that won’t allow a prescription drug database to be established.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anson Burlingame, guest columnist: Much has changed in U.S. over 14 years

    Does anyone recall the major economic argument during the 2000 presidential campaign between George Bush and Al Gore?

    July 22, 2014

  • Our View: Vote no on Amendment 1

    Proponents of Amendment 1 — the Right to Farm Act — have not made their case. We’ve met with advocates of this amendment to the Missouri constitution and listened to their arguments, but we don’t believe they have adequately answered the central question: Who is it protecting, and from what?

    July 13, 2014

  • Your View: Amendment 5 is deception of the highest order

    Amendment 5, sponsored by Missouri Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, “relating to the right of Missouri citizens to keep and bear arms” provides that “any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”

    July 21, 2014

  • Other Views Other Views: No time to turn away

    With the shooting down of a commercial airliner over Ukraine and fighting that has now escalated to a ground war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, it would be easy for most U.S. citizens to throw up their hands and turn their backs.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Power to defend

    The Globe’s editorial ‘More guns not the answer’ (July 15) was saturated with classic progressive blather.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your View: Thanks for the generosity

    Generally, all we hear about is the bad news, and obviously, there is plenty available. Our church felt this event worthy of public knowledge.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your View: How to upgrade your business

    Let’s see now. When some folks wish to improve the exterior of their properties and have other taxpayers pay for the improvements, they create a community improvement district.

    July 21, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our view: Street smarts

    If your daily commute has been shortened because you no longer have to wait at 26th Street and Connecticut Avenue for a train to pass, thank your own tax dollars.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: Decision fails test

    With the announcement that the State Board of Education has decided not to release individual school test results because of cyberattacks and other problems this spring, educators are scratching their heads, as are taxpayers who footed the bill.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

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