Anyone remember John Kline’s (R-MN-02) admonishment of May 25, 2010 ?
“It is a dereliction of public duty for this Congress to deliberately fail to pass a budget. [SNIP] We are failing our children by failing to produce a budget. It is time to get our priorities straight and our fiscal house in order.”
Surely with the Republicans in firm control, and the approval of the Kline-hyped H.R.325 : No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013,
“Every once in a while even Washington can put things in the simplest of terms: No budget, no pay. The Minnesotans I represent are like most Americans – they expect Washington to pass a budget and live by it.
Certainly the House would have all its work completed before going on summer recess — correct ?
Well, read the words in a letter penned by Tim Walz (D-MN-01), Rick Nolan (D-MN-08) and 48 other Members of the House pleading with Speaker John Boehner (R-OH-07) to consent to the necessary procedural actions so that key legislation can be approved … (sadly, John Kline did not sign the letter).
So today, after getting no response from Speaker Boehner, Tim Walz went to the House Floor to address his colleagues
“Thank you Mr. Speaker, I have a simple question: why are we going home in August? And it’s really not a rhetorical question. All across southern Minnesota and across this country farmers and ranchers have been up for hours quietly going about their business of feeding, clothing, and powering the world. And here we sit, a year later, without a farm bill to give them the certainty they’ve asked for.
“Now we disagreed on how the Farm Bill was done here, but this House passed one. The Senate passed one. And just like that Saturday morning cartoon, ‘I’m just a bill sitting on Capitol Hill,’ we gotta get together to finish that. That’s called a conference. The Senate appointed their conferees.
“All you have to do Mr. Speaker, very seldom you get this simple choice, appoint conferees and finish our business for America or go on vacation. That’s the choice you get today. Now I taught sixth grade for many years, the rule in our class was you don’t go to recess until you finish your work. I often hear from my friends, ‘we need to run government more like a business.’ What business owner shuts the door and goes home before finishing critical work?
“Appoint conferees, finish the Farm Bill, give certainty, do your work that we’re being paid for, and finish the Farm Bill.
“With that I yield back.”
The response is the last record on the Clerk of the House website :
2:57:20 P.M. The House adjourned pursuant to S. Con. Res. 22. The next meeting is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on September 9, 2013.
Mr. Kline called it a “dereliction of duty” … yet he will still get paid … while Members are pleading for action, he will be enjoying “recess“.
It’s a failure of leadership … not only the leadership of Speaker Boehner but also the leadership of Mr. Kline for failing to get his party to do what he wanted just a few years ago.
And this was not lost on Scott Rigell (R-VA-02) who spoke last week on the subject (highlights):
“When an organization is facing profound challenges, you do what you must do to set it on a better course. It may be House tradition to break (for August), but I submit that it’s not wise.”
“Leaders set priorities, they identify the opportunities and challenges that face their organization, they assess them and put them in the right order, and then they align their organization’s calendar to make sure those top priorities get addressed.
That’s what the American people rightfully expect of each of us.
Our calendar does not reflect the challenges and top priorities of our country.
This is not without consequence. It damages our economy and job creation. It damages our military in a very real way; ultimately, it hurts hardworking American families.
Mr. Speaker I really believe we ought to be in session six days a week, starting at 8 am, earlier if it was up to me, and ending around 7 pm. Six days a week! I’m convinced that just that pressure alone would help us find some common ground that I know exists in this place.
That’s why I call for a change in the calendar, and I yield back.”
THANKS to Scott Rigell and Tim Walz for showing leadership and to John Kline and John Boehner, your leadership failures are a “dereliction of duty”