Democrat freshman U.S. Rep. Brittany Pettersen is having a meltdown over the looming government shutdown, seemingly unaware such threats are an annual thing on Capitol Hill with the media hyperventilating weeks in advance.
She told Colorado Politics:
“It’s really problematic for not only people in the short-term and the chaos that it creates, but this is detrimental to our economy immediately, and it also has significant long term effects globally. We’re supposed to be the strongest democracy in the world, and we continue to lose credibility and our position in the world when we can’t even do our basic functions.”
The freshman lawmaker is woefully ignorant the government has shut down 14 times for a period of days since 1980, when it was determined government agencies did not have the authority to continue operating during these funding gaps.
And that’s what this is, a funding gap. Not the end of the world.
What she decries as “absolute insanity,” is Democracy making the sausage.
Just look at fellow freshman Democrat U.S. Rep. Yadira Caraveo who represents the state’s new 8th Congressional District.
She seems blissfully unaware of the ongoing budget negotiations, as she goes about her day meeting with bankers and posing for photo ops with Colorado’s freshman U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper.
Hickenlooper meanwhile is positively giddy with excitement over the possibility of a brief shutdown, foaming at the mouth with anticipation of all the made-up catastrophes he can blame on Republicans.
T-minus 2.5 days until House Republicans drag our nation into a catastrophic shutdown.
A shutdown is not what the American people want. That’s why this week, the Senate is voting on a bipartisan deal so we can fund our government and do our jobs 🎥⬇️ pic.twitter.com/7wvgS50LTn
— Senator John Hickenlooper (@SenatorHick) September 28, 2023
PeakNation™ will recall the media hype over potential shutdowns occurs every single September, when Congress is tasked with passing more than a dozen annual appropriation bills to fund all levels of bureaucracy.
Here’s a short primer from the Pew Research Center:
Congress’ chronic inability to follow its own appropriations process is hardly new. In fact, in the nearly five decades that the current system for budgeting and spending tax dollars has been in place, Congress has passed all its required appropriations measures on time only four times: fiscal 1977 (the first full fiscal year under the current system), 1989, 1995 and 1997. And even those last three times, Congress was late in passing the budget blueprint that, in theory at least, precedes the actual spending bills.
In short, the typical appropriations process isn’t the orderly one laid out in the 1974 Congressional Budget Act. Instead, it’s a hodgepodge of late budget blueprints, temporary spending measures to keep the government running, and sprawling omnibus appropriations packages that often are passed in the waning days before one Congress ends and the next one begins.
Long story short, House Speaker McCarthy pledged to bring the appropriation bills separately to the floor and stop passing omnibus bills.
And that’s what they’re doing. Four of the bills have already passed, having gone through the committee vetting process and all open and transparent for folks to see.
The government can only shut down when a majority of the House rejects whatever vehicle is being used to pass funding.
Threatening to shut down the government this time are 212 House Democrats and two dozen members of the Republican Freedom Caucus.
Public schools obviously don’t teach math anymore, but 212 is a bigger number than two dozen, but together total enough to (check notes) shut down the government.
The next time Pettersen has a meltdown, she should try looking in the mirror and put some of that blame on herself.
While Caraveo appears oblivious to what’s happening on the House floor, Republican opponent Scott James is challenging her to forgo her own congressional salary until she does the job she was elected to do.