CR: What’s Going On?

Yesterday was a confusing day in the U.S. Senate (then again, it usually is). First, a quick breakdown of what happened:

  1. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid held a cloture vote on his CR amendment, which was basically the CR passed by the House, but it didn’t include the FEMA disaster funding offsets or the $100 million rescission to the Solyndra account. It failed.
  2. FEMA announced it had enough money to get through the end of the fiscal year (Friday) so there was no need for the $1  billion in emergency funding included in the House-passed CR. After Friday, new money fills FEMA’s coffers with the new budget.
  3. The Senate voted to approve the House-passed CR without the disaster funding or offsets.

Confusing, yes. But what happens next?

  1. On Thursday, the House will return for a pro forma session and will likely approve a 4-day CR by unanimous consent (the Senate passed that by UC, too) that will last through next Tuesday.
  2. Next Tuesday, the House returns and will vote on the rest of the CR to get through November 18th.
  3. After that…a new battle begins.

Still confusing, we know, but at least we’ve avoided another week of hyperbolic statements from big-government liberals…for now. All this brings up another question about the politics of disaster funding. Liberals wanted $3 billion more for FEMA funding than the House-passed CR, and claimed that conservatives didn’t care about disaster victims.

But once FEMA said they didn’t need any extra money this year, it brings into question the propensity of our government to spend without question. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) picked an arbitrary number to just handout without any question about the affordability or necessity. This is exactly why we need good fiscal conservatives to stand up at fight at every opportunity – good policy is good politics, too – for fiscal reform.

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