Today I had a short exchange with our good friend Len over at “First Door on the Left” regarding President Obama’s comments following a meeting the Congressional budget committee chairmen. The sentence I focused on was:
With the magnitude of the challenges we face right now, what we need in Washington are not more political tactics — we need more good ideas.
However, political tactics is exactly what President Obama is using by embedding his cap-and-trade proposal into the federal budget. By doing so, Obama is hoping to not have an open debate in Congress on the topic where it is most likely to fail. The Republicans in the Senate were already considering to filibuster the legislation on the floor, and they are now being joined by eight Democrats who are afraid of the economic hardship it would place on the general public, especially in the already economically hit industrial markets and regions where power is supplied by coal.
Legislative and policy proposals such as cap-and-trade should never be lumped into a federal budget. Similar complaints were made under President Bush’s terms in office when he lumped tax cuts with the budget. This practice of circumventing Congressional rules (aka political tactics) should come to an end, and instead they should be brought onto the floor and deserve the public debate.
What is your view on this practice?
Detroit Free Press – “Levin, others oppose adding gas permits to budget debate”
Baltimore Sun – “‘Cap-and-trade’ unusually detailed in budget”
The Hill – “Not all senators warming to Obama cap-and-trade emissions proposal”
The Washington Post – “Obama Officials Defend Budget”
Media Mouse – “Levin Joining with Republicans to Stop ‘Cap-and-Trade’ Legislation from being Added to Budget Debate”