Congress speeds to a frenzy to get a comprehensive budget deal in place. Ok maybe not a frenzy, more like a brisk power walk…
At this point, Congress is that kid from your high school that procrastinated till the last second to turn in a project. Only instead of turning it in, it gets like five-extensions and gets a C-. Yeah, that seems like the right analogy.
So if you didn’t know, Congress still has yet to pass a spending bill and by December 11th the government runs out of money (or in other words the government will shut down). So the clock is definitely ticking. Lawmakers look to have recognized this and are working to negotiate a budget both parties can agree with. The problem however is no one can agree on anything…
The main roadblocks come in the form of expiring tax breaks. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the majority of problems are coming from specific tax breaks on businesses that expired at the end of 2014. Many Republicans would like to reinstate these into the tax code and make them permanent. On the flip side, the Obama administration along with other Democrats are trying to negotiate to make low-income tax credits a permanent part of the tax code, which are scheduled to expire in the end of 2017.
Now within all that, some individuals in Congress are trying to put in tax breaks that would specifically help their own districts. Also known as the Kenny Powers approach to politics.
While too many these politician-specific tax breaks might seem trivial, but in an election year, both parties would like to bring something back to their constituents to emphasize their re-election campaigns. That’s how you get instances like Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada pushing for a government funding bill to help Caesars Entertainment Corporation (the guys who run casinos). Even though in this case, Sen. Reid isn’t seeking re-election, getting pork like this passed helps the eventual Democratic nominee of his senate seat get campaign funding come 2016.
As the Friday deadline approaches fast, it looks more-and-more likely that Congress would have to pass another short-term budget deal to avoid shutdown. Considering Republicans can’t afford another shutdown with next year being an election year and it being almost impossible to get a generally agreed upon funding bill through Congress by Friday, another short-term budget deal is more likely.
And that’s why Congress, nobody likes you.
(Photo Credits: CBS, YouTube)