THE CONGRESSIONAL budget process — and process is an awfully polite word for the current chaos — gets uglier and uglier. The $410 billion omnibus spending bill that is crawling to final passage and an unenthusiastic signature comes nearly halfway through the fiscal year. It covers spending for pretty much the entire domestic side of the government — yet none of the nine bills merged into the single giant package were ever considered on the floor of the House or Senate. President Obama’s not-my-problem stance may be canny politics: Why put any political capital into this one when there are so many other difficult fights to come? But his asserted stance that this is, in the words of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, "last year’s business," borders on irresponsible. This may be last year’s business, but Mr. Obama is this year’s president.
My one quibble is that the Post is being too kind by stopping at "borders;" the administration’s denial of any responsibility for these spending bills is irresponsible. Obama has spouted all sorts of rhetoric about "fiscal responsibility." It’s about time he acted on it, starting now, by threatening to veto these bill unless the pork is carved out.
(hat tip: Mary Katherine Ham)