Governing from crisis to-crisis isn't governing

Whether or not Congress makes a deal to avoid a government shutdown before midnight tonight, they've already failed....

Posted: Jan 20, 2018 3:34 PM
Updated: Jan 20, 2018 3:34 PM

Whether or not Congress makes a deal to avoid a government shutdown before midnight tonight, they've already failed.

The most basic job of Congress is to approve bills that fund the many activities and operations of the federal government. In an ideal world, Congress would approve a year's worth of government spending so that agencies could do some mid- and long-range planning.

That hasn't happened in years. Twenty years to be exact, according to the non-partisan Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Instead, Congress has increasingly resorted to continuing resolutions -- short-term Band-aids to keep the government funded.

Since the start of Fiscal Year 1998, there have been -- wait for it -- 112(!) continuing resolutions to keep the government running.

The result of using a Band-aid to try to stop a gaping wound -- i.e., a task for which it was never intended -- is that our Congress winds up lurching from crisis to crisis, each one separated by increasingly shorter amounts of time.

Consider the debate earlier this week: A month-long continuing resolution was dismissed as impossible, with several senators floating a two-week -- or even five-day -- CR. Five days!

The simple fact is that even if a deal gets cuts tonight to keep the government open, we will almost certainly be right back at the brink of shutdown in five days or two weeks or a month. Passing any sort of continuing resolution won't preserve the DACA program or provide funding for President Donald Trump's much-ballyhooed border wall. It won't change the dynamic at all.

Fights delayed are not fights avoided. They are just fights delayed.

The Point: Governing from crisis to crisis isn't governing. It's punting -- and punting and punting. And no one wins when all you do is punt.

Read Friday's full edition of The Point.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 33558

Reported Deaths: 2110
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9616571
Lake3538185
Cass15897
Allen145168
St. Joseph124834
Elkhart116328
Hendricks116171
Hamilton115693
Johnson1093108
Madison58559
Porter51627
Bartholomew50034
Clark49241
LaPorte42423
Howard39526
Tippecanoe3903
Jackson3791
Delaware37736
Shelby36822
Hancock32728
Floyd31839
Boone30935
Morgan27824
Vanderburgh2652
Montgomery23517
White2318
Decatur22431
Clinton2231
Noble21121
Grant20621
Harrison19221
Dubois1923
Henry16910
Greene16824
Monroe16612
Warrick16628
Dearborn16621
Vigo1648
Lawrence15423
Miami1411
Putnam1367
Jennings1304
Orange12522
Scott1193
Kosciusko1111
Franklin1098
Ripley1086
Carroll922
Marshall901
Daviess8516
Steuben812
Newton7710
Wayne776
Fayette767
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Jasper651
Washington521
Jay500
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Clay471
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Randolph463
Pulaski460
Jefferson431
Whitley393
Starke363
Sullivan341
Owen341
Brown331
DeKalb331
Perry310
Benton300
Knox290
Wells280
Huntington272
Tipton251
Crawford240
Blackford242
Fountain202
Switzerland200
Spencer191
Parke170
Posey160
Gibson142
Adams131
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0164

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 117455

Reported Deaths: 5270
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook762663570
Lake8063287
DuPage7543362
Kane6188170
Will5442269
Winnebago215654
McHenry151471
St. Clair109179
Kankakee87144
Kendall76919
Rock Island64624
Champaign6177
Madison56558
Boone42817
DeKalb3924
Sangamon34629
Jackson26810
Randolph2674
McLean21713
Peoria2128
Ogle2023
Stephenson1992
Macon19519
Clinton18117
Union1519
LaSalle14713
Whiteside13512
Iroquois1314
Coles12514
Unassigned1250
Out of IL1191
Warren1130
Jefferson10116
Knox970
Grundy952
Monroe9411
McDonough878
Lee791
Cass710
Tazewell714
Henry680
Williamson642
Pulaski510
Marion500
Jasper457
Macoupin452
Adams441
Perry420
Montgomery391
Vermilion391
Morgan351
Christian334
Jo Daviess320
Livingston322
Douglas260
Menard210
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Woodford192
Mason180
Washington180
Mercer170
Hancock160
Shelby161
Bureau151
Carroll142
Bond121
Franklin120
Piatt120
Schuyler120
Clark110
Crawford110
Fulton110
Moultrie110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Effingham71
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Edgar10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
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A wonderful Saturday with sunshine expected!
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