Having dispensed with the Ted Cruz promotional extravaganza the senate returned to matters at hand.
The first order of business was a cloture vote on a continuing resolution to fund the government. The senate passed the cloture motion and will vote on the continuing resolution within the next 24-48 hours. The senate bill funds the government at the current spending levels and includes funding for Obamacare.
(It should be noted that the whole purpose of Cruz’ faux filibuster was to prevent a cloture vote on the senate bill because, as Cruz said: “a vote for cloture is a vote for Obamacare.” Cruz then went on to vote “yes” for cloture. The motion carried 100-0.)
If the senate passes their bill it then goes to the House. The House must first vote to take up the senate bill for debate… and then vote to pass it.
All of this must be accomplished by midnight Monday or the government will shut down. A shut down could delay the delivery of essential benefits and services to tens of millions of Americans.
There are those that like to downplay the impact that a shutdown will have on the populace. Some say that the government will find away to get key benefits and services to those who need them. “Don’t worry about your Social Security checks or your Medicare benefits being delayed. The government won’t let that happen”, they say. We’ll see.
But what about the other government agencies that are considered “discretionary” for funding purposes? They will most certainly close their doors if congress fails to act. What affect will their closure have?
Take the EPA for example.
For all intents and purposes the EPA is a government agency that most Americans feel they can do without. Those who call themselves “small government conservatives” have a particular dislike for this government agency. They view the EPA nothing more than a ham fisted bureaucracy that interferes in the manner in which they conduct their business by imposing expensive and unnecessary regulations. Small government conservatives would like nothing better than to see the EPA defunded.
That is unless they happen to live in the Boulder, Colorado area.
You see Boulder has experienced a huge growth in the development of oil and natural gas production. Oil and gas production facilities have been are sprouting up like weeds in the Boulder area. Tragically the vast flooding and mudslides that have plagued Boulder have washed out many of these oil and gas facilities. There is a big concern that the flooding has caused the toxic chemicals used in these operations to leach into the water table and pollute the drinking water.
The folks in Boulder asked their state and local officials to test the water supply around these facilities for containments. Unfortunately, as part of the austerity measures, the state of Colorado has cut back on the number of state inspectors. They don’t have enough state inspectors to handle all of the damaged facilities.
Call for the EPA!
So now the good people of Boulder want the EPA to come to the rescue. We can only assume that some of those who are pleading for federal assistance are small government conservatives.
This is just another in example of why those who refer to themselves as “small government conservatives” are simply full of it.
Small government conservatives carry signs reading: “Keep your government hands off my Medicare.”
Small government conservatives oppose gay marriage…until they discover that one of their loved ones is gay. (Ref. Dick Cheney)
Small government conservatives opposed the president’s stimulus plan…and then lined up like sheep to get some for their districts.
Small government conservatives opposed the Obamacare provision that requires members of congress to buy their health coverage through the newly formed government insurance exchanges…until they discovered that they could buy their coverage 8%-10% cheaper through the exchange than they could get on the open market.
The list goes on and on.
Let’s call out this small government ideology for what it really is.