Budget bickering gets old
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, except when it comes to the U.S. House of Representatives.
The House Appropriations Committee last week took steps to increase slightly the budget for the legislative branch, while the budgets for labor, health and education programs will be cut by nearly 20 percent in some cases. Transportation and community development grants face big cuts, too, as will federal firefighting programs.
A spokesman for the committee said part of the budget increase is to pay for more police and security upgrades at the House’s oldest office building. Plus, officials said, Congress’ $4 billion budget has already been cut for three straight years.
Republicans and Democrats have blamed each other for across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration. Such things as White House tours were in jeopardy, as were more serious items like funding for air traffic controllers and other federal agencies. For a few days, a visitors center at a popular overlook in the scenic North Dakota Badlands was in danger of being closed, but somehow the agency in charge managed to miraculously find enough money to keep the center open this year.
We know we’re not the only ones who have grown weary of the constant bickering among lawmakers, and the attitude that cuts need to be made that will affect the general public, while still protecting the budgets that affect members of Congress.