Here we go again, as the Washington establishment plays games, threatening a government shutdown as congressional leaders “negotiate” yet another unaccountable continuing resolution to keep the government operating past Oct. 1, the beginning of the federal fiscal year. But these leaders don’t want you to notice a big story from last week.
The National Debt in January 2011 was approximately $16 trillion, according to CNN. In the past week, it rocketed past $33 trillion. That means in the past 12 years, the United States has more than doubled the amount of debt it had incurred from 1776-2010 – that’s more debt in 12 years than we incurred in the previous 234 years. Debt we as taxpayers will be responsible for paying for the rest of our lives, meaning the quality of life of our children and grandchildren will likely be degraded throughout the rest of the century and beyond.
Chuck Fleischmann’s term as our 3rd Congressional District representative in Washington began in 2011. He serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, the committee in which all government spending begins. He’s one of the most senior members of that committee, which has been under Republican control for most of his term. In 2010, he campaigned to “get Washington out of our lives,” and to help get federal spending under control. How’s that worked out so far?
Appropriators normally prepare 12 spending bills to be written/amended/debated in committee, then sent to the house floor to be debated and amended, then voted on. What every representative in Congress knows is that those bills are supposed to be completed and forwarded to the Senate well before Sept. 30. Yet Speaker McCarthy, who Chuck strongly supports, chose to allow the House to adjourn for its traditional August recess instead of insisting they remain in Washington to complete their constitutionally-required work.
Nothing so demonstrates the unseriousness of this Speaker and Republican leadership in the House and Senate as running out the clock, on purpose, to allow themselves cover to engineer another outrageous, unaccountable continuing resolution that kicks the can down the road. They’ll say, “Oh, it’s only for another month.” You mean, it would only take a month to resolve the issues they could have spent August resolving? You really think they’ll finally resolve those issues? No, both parties just want issues to run on next year.
The big spenders in Washington keep kicking the can down the road, running out the clock to force another CR down our throats and refusing to address spending issues on which they originally campaigned. Spending issues in which they, as our elected representatives and senators, are directly accountable. Simply put, they’re not doing their jobs, and the same-old-same-old games are not going to continue to be tolerated by an increasingly restive public, which is already pounded by skyrocketing inflation.
These are serious times, and it’s time for serious change in Washington. Chuck Fleischmann has an alleged reputation as a workhorse, but he instead appears to be performative show horse and not a very effective one at that. Because doubling of the national debt during his term in office doesn’t just happen on its own. Our representatives made it happen. Yet they’ll still receive a government (taxpayer-paid) pension. Imagine that.
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I have kept quiet for nearly a decade about our representation in Washington. I make no apology for writing in Basil Marceaux on many contests on every ballot.
I am just sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I once even thought of putting my name on the ballot just to see what kind of response I received.
I worked for Congressman Zach Wamp for 19 years and I know that you will never, ever get anything done if you do not compromise and work across the aisle. Zach worked and lived with "the other side" and he was able to get things done.
I just became a "Senior Citizen" at age 65, but I keep thinking.....what if. Rep Chuck was a Zach supporter all of those years, maxing out in contributions to the campaigns. One difference in the two is that you never hear of Chuck having a fundraiser with notable guests (as you need to have)...and I'm not just talking about political guests. Zach had spiritual guests that brought you back down to Earth. Those were times that brought people together.
It's a shame and a pity that there are no more of these...to solidify your soul and as a side, support someone who cared about your soul as well. I don't see that anymore.
It is time for someone to step up to the plate and begin to let Chuck continue his previous "slip and fall" practice of juris prudence.
I may not be that person but there just has to be someone who is.
Chuck and I have always been cordial to each other but I feel we need someone who is not a lap dog for McCarthy and others.
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Rick, thank you for followup to Brendan Jenning's writing. You both make good points. I do not write to bash our Congressman, he swings and hits himself too much as it is. We have good minds in this part of Tennessee, it is a shame the .S. House does not find as many seeking office as it could. I gave up a long while back to get a reply to the letter I wrote January 6, 2020 and several after that. It is one thing to have differing reads of truth and of opinions, another to be so unprofessional to not respond to a constituent.
That said the silence is deafening on what a tiny minority is doing to the House in budget fights that affect all. There are enough in the Republican side of the House to bring these few to reach, as Mr Tucker says, Compromise, those becoming leaders within could realize courage is more well behaved than fear.
I can see from Zach’s days the narcotic of choice in D.C. has become more potent and more used, that drug is power. And just like the difference between a drug and a poison the same applies here. The dose is what becomes toxic to those and those near who use too much.