SURRATT: It’s time the House majority grew up and passed a funding bill

Published 8:00 am Friday, September 29, 2023


For the next few days — or weeks, or months — that’s going to be a scary term as Congress addresses a plan to fund the government and keep things running.

In a city like Vicksburg, which has some major federally funded agencies within its city limits, something like a shutdown can be a hard punch in the stomach because it can mean furloughs or layoffs for many people. And as I’m writing this, we’re no closer to a resolution of the problem than we were two months ago.

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It really all seems so simple. You would believe members of Congress could set aside their personal issues, do their job, put the interest of the country first and pass a temporary funding measure to keep the government going.

That, however, isn’t happening.

What we have here is more than a failure to communicate; it’s a failure of people in the House of Representatives to do their job. What we have is some people who are more interested in the sound byte and getting their MAGA cred that they have forgotten what they were elected to do. The inmates are in control of the asylum no one’s getting any work done.

The Senate, which is apparently where the adults are, has passed a bipartisan bill to fund the government that is now on its way to the House, where it will obviously have trouble because everyone’s too busy playing to the cameras.

Here’s a little history lesson for Republican members of the House.

In the 1990s, a stubborn Republican majority in Congress caused a shutdown and gave then-President Bill Clinton a very powerful weapon that he used to embarrass the majority and caused some Republican representatives to be unemployed.

All this petty bickering in the House is pointless. They need to stop putting petty personal politics aside and approve a measure to avert a shutdown. All you’re doing right now is playing games with the jobs and the futures of millions of people who rely on that paycheck from whatever federal agency to feed and clothe their families and put a roof over their heads. They don’t deserve this treatment. Do the adult and intelligent thing (if you can) and pass a funding bill to keep the government going.

By the way, I have read several stories about bi-partisan bills in the Senate to eliminate future shutdown threats. Each bill offers a different solution, but each is better than what we have now. Also, there is pending legislation to prevent our members of Congress from being paid during a shutdown.

Hopefully, the majority party in the House will see the error of their ways and pass a funding bill. As for preventing future shutdowns, I can go for that. Not paying Congress during shutdowns? That works, too, especially now. Why should these guys get paid when they aren’t doing their jobs?

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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