Saturday, September 26, 2020

Comentarios from Maria: In the Spirit of Christmas, Congress Acts in a Bipartisan Way

Maria-CNN-HeadshotIf anything can be learned from the recent budget agreement passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States, is that bipartisanship works.

The reality is that when Congress puts aside their differences, and are dedicated to working for the people who elected them, progress and solutions are available. And although the proposed budget is not perfect, the truth is that the bill is a step in the right direction, not only for the country, but also for the internal problems that plague the nation’s Capital

The budget agreement plans to increase the federal budget to $1 trillion next year and restore the functioning of governmental institutions in the country

Additionally, the budget reduces the deficit by $23 billion over the next 10 years, without raising taxes, eliminating $63 billion of the $85 billion in automatic cuts that have been in operation since March of this year.

Apart from this, the budget reduces the automatic cuts in defense and leaves intact the social programs that Democrats did not want affected.
But just days after the adoption of the agreement and the awaiting of the President’s signature, several Republicans have attempted to find ways to score political points and blame Democrats for being responsible for the cuts veterans will be receiving.

The truth is that if the Republicans put their priorities in order, these cuts would not have to happen. Instead of worrying about the most privileged, they could have prioritized and helped the needy.

At the end of the day, the budget agreement is a good step forward, but the debate on how to implement the budget and the need to raise the national debt limit remains.

After seeing what happened this past October regarding the national debt limit and how Republicans handled the situation when they voted for a budget proposal that would take away the funds to implement Obamacare, which resulted in a government shutdown, shows what they are capable of.

In the coming weeks, while congress in recess, Republicans have an opportunity to reflect on this year and how they can improve their cooperation with Democrats

With the 2014 midterm elections coming up, and Washington D.C. preparing for another presidential election in 2016, Republicans need to put their priorities in the proper place

Only then, if they act in a bipartisan way as they did during this Christmas season, can we help the country move forward, and provide solutions to many problems that remain unsolved.

 

This piece originally appeared in Spanish in the Washington Hispanic