Another Bad Punt And More To Come

Unlike many of my readers I didn’t spend much time watching football this season, but I do have a fan’s understanding of the game. (Unlike most football fans I am willing to admit the limitations of my knowledge of the game.) For the most part a punt is the admission that your offense sputtered. In the NFL you accomplish a punt without the aid of the other team. The House Republicans haven’t even reached that level of competency.

Thursday, with the government within hours of a partial shutdown and a snowstorm (which was a huge motivating factor) forecast for Friday, the House approved a Senate CR. That sentence is the “nickel” version; let me move on to the “dime” one.

The current fiscal year started on October 1st. A budget was due before then. This is Congress’ basic function, didn’t happen and since then the country has been running on a series of short-term continuing resolutions. It’s not very different from continually running three plays that can’t gain ten yards and then punting. Generally speaking, that is not the way to win a football game.

Spending bills traditionally originate in the House. This was another instance of where the Senate had to come up with a bipartisan (this CR passed 77-18) compromise and send it to a dysfunctional Republican “led” House.

In order to get it passed in an eleventh hour fashion the bill needed three-quarters approval. It got that only because of the Democrats. It passed the House 314-108. The breakdown by party was Republicans – who remember could pass a bill all on their own if they could agree on one and come up with something both the Senate and the president could live with – voted 107-106. The Democrats came to the Republicans’ and the country’s rescue with a 207-2 tally. The current CR is another two-pronged deal with expiration dates of March 1 and March 8. So, the Republicans effectively made a poor punt and they had to call in “the other team” to help them execute it.

Let’s look just a bit deeper at how bad this deal is. Considering how bad the current GOP majority in the House is I’d say the chance of coming up with a budget deal before March 1 is close to zero. Certainly, less than the chance of a Hunter Biden nude being introduced into evidence in a committee hearing. There are only six days between now and March 1 that both the House and Senate are in session. (The first deadline is the more important and even if you look at March 8th the simultaneous days in session is still only 10.)

My prediction: another CR somewhere around the end of February. I’d have to consult the congressional calendar and Farmer’s Almanac for something more accurate. What do you think would happen to an NFL coach if he had to “borrow” a punter from his opponent. When will voters realize it is time to fire Republican House members? They can’t even punt after they consistently fail to gain a first down.

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