While Congress is busy (pretending to do its job) …

capitolBy Winslow T. Wheeler

Unwilling to debate the central question of whether to authorize hostilities against the Islamic State before an election, the senators and representatives occupy the perceived political safe-ground of declaring they are in favor of finding and arming “moderate” Syrian rebels.  They are quite sure that idea will not blow up in their faces, at least for several months. Later, after the 2014 congressional elections and just as the 2016 presidential elections start to dazzle them in its headlights, they want us to think they can debate war and peace in a manner to make us proud.

Further, achieving consensus that it would be unhelpful to their re-election this November to close down the federal government because of tantrums over the budget, they instead grope for passing a “continuing resolution” for 2015 that mechanically holds federal appropriations to the same level as for 2014.  Those 2014 appropriations were themselves determined by an “Omnibus” appropriations act, the major hallmarks of which were non-transparency, feckless and truncated debate, and political fixing–far more so than in the “regular order” of enacting separate appropriations bills for federal agencies.

At a time when Congress busies itself piling dysfunction upon dysfunction, it is time to discuss something at least one of them is doing right.

Last July, the Defense Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee put together its specific recommendations for the Department of Defense Appropriations bill for 2015.  The leader of that effort was Subcommittee Chairman, Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL).  Parsing through the bill and its accompanying committee report, I astonished myself by finding three highly significant and uplifting actions by the subcommittee chairman and his staff.

I describe this ray of hope at the website of POGO’s Straus Military Reform Project at http://www.pogo.org/our-work/straus-military-reform-project/congress/2014/a-ray-of-light-from-senator-durbin.html.

Winslow T. Wheeler
Director
Straus Military Reform Project
Center for Defense Information
Project On Government Oversight

4 Comments

  1. These morons begin their respective re-election campaigns as soon as they take the oath o office, an oath they conveniently forget soon after. I don’t know which is worse, the congress not doing anything (so nothing gets messed up) or doing something and letting their gross incompetence show. A congressional seat has become a giant money grab for the politicians, and all of it is at our expense. Pardon me while I gag.

  2. Discontinue all benefits for the POTUS and Congress until they secure the border and beat ISIS.

    Why would we trust Immigration Reform? Not with these liars.

  3. How do you define a ‘moderate’ terrorist? Who is going to be the fall guy when they start fighting with instead of against? I think finding and training will be another $$ grab for the politicians and their cronies. We spent millions to billions in aland and iraq and have they been able to do anything? NOT YET, except they let the bad guys have 1/2 million $ MRAPS and self propelled artillery that we gave to our ‘trained’ forces. I wonder if they know that if you cant read or write you will most likely FAIL as a soldier of any kind. You ever notice its the folks from countries that embrace education (India, Pakistan) that have the folks who are trying to do something with their lives! The rest dont care and never will, thats why they have never been anything since alexander the great. Petty politicians and thugs seem to be the rule. Iraq could not even defeat a 5th rate army (iran) and we expect them to stop isis? Aland has never really had anything to offer and has suffered from tribal life for too long to be able to move into the new world. Actually if you look at pakistan near aland and you will see night and day from the rest of that country that has an educated population. Iran at one time was becoming a country of influence, but then went into the toilet when the shah was pushed out. There are some but the majority will never be able to really stand on their own without the rule of petty politicians and their thugs to keep them in line.

    we are not going to be far behind as we continue to diminish the values that made this country great. Too many that cannot read or write english or even perform the 3 r’s with any capability. Thats why they want to import more pakistani’s and folks from India! Why is it that military manuals are only written to the 5th/6th grade level? and then they still are not understood!

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