What editorial writers are saying about the latest government-shutdown scare
■ Lawmakers clashed over the Federal Emergency Management Agency budget before striking a deal to fund the government through Nov. 18.
Posted Oct. 10, 2011.
Both parties traded accusations that government funding was being held hostage to push partisan goals of slashing spending and promoting green jobs.
Keeping the lights on
Instead, Democrats have decided to wait until the money runs out and declare a crisis they can blame on Republicans. In this case, Republicans wanted disaster relief funds in the budget to be offset with spending cuts elsewhere in the budget -- a pretty responsible and reasonable step to take, when our annual deficit already exceeds $1 trillion. But Democrats are highly allergic to spending cuts. The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle, Sept. 27
Governing by crisis
The next fight is likely to be over bigger issues. House Republicans have already made it clear that they want to slash the budget for the Environmental Protection Agency and curtail its regulation of air pollution through the appropriations process. They also want to cut back severely on a nutrition program for low-income women and children. And guess what is likely to happen if they don't get their way? Another shutdown fight, and yet another, over more stopgap spending bills. The New York Times, Sept. 27
Will politicians choose quick fixes or lasting solutions?
Congress seems to like Band-Aids. They did it with the budget, agreeing to push the issue onto a "super committee" of the future, and rather than deal with the funding issues underlying FEMA they agree to extend the budget for a few weeks. Let the future Congress deal with the issues. It does not matter, however, what party you affiliate with: Band-Aids are not the purpose of Congress. Their inability to compromise is toxic, and their delay creates festering infections. Instead of creating legislation for the issues, they're opposing it. Instead of solutions, Congress is creating problems. Our country needs solutions to revive us, and Band-Aids won't hold us over any longer. They did it with health care insurance, the budget and now FEMA. The Iowa State Daily, Sept. 29
It was a standoff that should never have happened. Traditionally, Congress has approved immediate emergency assistance for natural disaster victims without budget offsets. That's the way it should be. FEMA and other agencies have allocations for responding to disasters, but Mother Nature has a nasty way of defying budgetary predictions. When tornadoes, floods and hurricanes devastate communities, the federal government should open its checkbook and do what it takes to help Americans recover. The federal government has a unique ability to borrow money that strapped state and local governments lack. The (Eugene, Ore.) Register-Guard, Sept. 28
Another government-shutdown fight over partisanship shameful
Too much legislative time and energy is being wasted on these senseless arguments. Lawmakers know that the "super committee" is working to come up with $1.5 trillion of cuts during the next 10 years. Why threaten to shut down the government and disrupt jobs and disaster-relief efforts over a seven-week spending extension? None of the arguments being made about loan cuts or how much is being proposed for disaster relief have anything to do with solving long-term problems. They are about political posturing from both Democrats and Republicans. The Jackson (Tenn.) Sun, Sept. 25
Congress is the disaster
Our elected officials in Washington, D.C., aren't content with their record-low approval rating. They seem to be doing everything in their power to seal the deal as the absolute worst Congress. Ever. Just weeks after taking the country to the brink over raising the debt ceiling -- a fiasco that caused Standard & Poor's to lower the country's credit rating for the first time and rocked the already shaky financial world -- the two parties are again playing chicken. But this time it's not our sterling Triple A rating in the balance. Now it's victims of natural disasters. The York (Pa.) Dispatch, Sept. 27